Episode #308

Affirming: A Memoir of Faith, Sexuality, and Staying in the Church

Guest: Sally Gary

Series: Crackers and Grape Juice

Host: Jason Micheli

May 14, 2021

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This is Jason speaking… As a Christian, I’ve never understood the hang-up and/or obsession some Christians have regarding gay Christians. Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s because my first teacher- after my having just become a Christian- was Dr. Gene Rogers, who introduced me to Karl Barth and Thomas Aquinas and who happened to be gay. As a pastor, I’m both exhausted by the sexuality debate and heartsick over its many victims– often anonymous, suffering in the pews.

For all these reasons, it’s a privilege to have Sally Gary as our guest for episode #308 to discuss her work with CenterPeace and her new book, Affirming: A Memoir of Faith, Sexuality, and Staying in the Church.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

What is it like to discover that something you’ve believed all your life might be wrong?

Sally Gary knew since her early adulthood that she was attracted to women. But as a devoted Christian, she felt there was no way to fully embrace this aspect of her identity while remaining faithful. Now, as she prepares to marry the love of her life, she’s ready to speak out about why—and how—her perspective changed.

In this deeply personal memoir, Sally traces the experiences, conversations, and scriptural reading that culminated in her seeing her sexuality as something that made sense within the context of her faith—not outside of it or in opposition to it. Along the way, she addresses specific aspects of her journey that will resonate with many other gay Christians: the loneliness and isolation of her previously celibate life, the futile attempts she made to resist or even “change” her sexual orientation, and the fear of intimacy that followed a lifetime of believing same-sex relationships were sinful.

Sally’s story—one of heritage, learning, courage, and love—is written especially for the generations of LGBTQ Christians after her who are questioning whether they can stay part of the church they call home. It’s a resounding reminder that, just like Sally’s own heart, things can change, and sometimes, when we earnestly search for the truth, we find it in the most unexpected places.

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