The Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians (EF) held its spring conference in the beautiful surroundings of the Yorkshire Dales. It was led by Rev. Dave Tomlinson vicar of St. Luke’s Church in Holloway, North London and author of ‘The post evangelical’. It was good that his wife Pat was also able to be there.
Dave Tomlinson gave three inspiring addresses over the weekend that were a great encouragement to those present. He spoke of why gay love threatens the religious ‘status quo’, what Gay Christians have to offer the wider church and gave useful suggestions of how to build inclusive churches.
It was most impressive that Dave did not merely make the ‘right noises’ but gave specific examples of how he is ministering to the needs of all people, including gay and lesbian Christians, in his own church. Nobody at the conference was left in any doubt as to his commitment to an inclusive church. Several members of EF were heard to comment that they would love to attend his church if only they lived nearer!
The conference concluded as usual with a very moving communion service. At the Eucharist Dave gave his talk the title ‘Better to be a doubter than a shouter’ and spoke on the theme ‘redeeming doubt’. He commented that doubt, far from being the enemy of faith, is an integral part of Christianity. To quote Dave, ‘Doubt is a redeeming factor within faith. It saves us from naive believe-ism, from triumphalist campaigns against those who see things differently to ourselves, from dogmatic certainties, and unthinking absolutes’.
The conference was very uplifting and encouraged us to continue our ministry to evangelicals who have been marginalised by the wider church.