James Alison will be addressing how best we engage with those who are opposed to the full inclusion of LGBT people in Church life. The event is running in Belfast South Methodist Church, Lisburn Road, Belfast at 8pm on Wednesday 12 November. The Church is near the junction with Adelaide Park: look out for the “Agape Centre” sign outside. Coffee will be available from about 7.30.
The speaker is a Catholic theologian and author, with books including Knowing Jesus and Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay. His most recent project is Jesus the Forgiving Victim—an introductory course on Christianity for adults which is grounded in our humanity. Having formerly lived with the Dominican Order, he now works as a preacher, lecturer and retreat giver across Europe and South America.
He speaks of faith as ‘relaxing into God’s embrace’. A key strand of his work has been the givenness of sexual orientation—shaped by his own experience—and the future of the Church’s debate, about which he is optimistic. Described as ‘one of the most lucid and exciting theologians writing to-day’, he’s renowned for bringing fresh insight to familiar themes.
On Saturday 18 October, Changing Attitude Ireland is holding a public talk, “Choosing a Same-Sex Partner” at 1.45pm in St George’s Church, High Street, Belfast. The speaker is Malcolm Macourt, the author of a series of essays, Toward a Theology of Gay Liberation, that had a significant impact in the quest for inclusion in the 1970s. Malcolm returns to his native Belfast to speak about developments in faith and sexuality since. He will talk about choice in sexuality and the blessing of same-sex relationships.
The event is expected to last about 45 minutes and coffee will be served afterwards, followed by a short communion service. Changing Attitude members then retire for their AGM.