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Steve and Jose
INDIA 2011
July 2  - August 12, 2011
Steve & Jose: Asia 2011: INDIA - SINGAPORE - NEPAL
Thursday, July 7, 2011 - Day 1
Young Lay Leaders Conference
  • Sponsors and Theme
  • Thursday's Speakers and Schedule
  • Rev. Steve Parelli's Presentation - A News Report
  • The Five Handouts given to the young lay leaders
Young Lay Leaders Conference, July 7 - 9, 2011
Day 1, Thursday, July 7  - PWDS, Kottavila, Kerala, India
Sponsors:
Trivandrum Theological Forum (TTF)
Amirtham Ecumeniocal Trust
Other Sheep


Theme:
Church - Beyond Its Boundaries


Thursday, July 7, Speakers and
Schedule

Mr. Praveen Raj (2011 Graduate of
United Theological College)
  • Opening Worship
  • Session I - Bible Study

Rev. Steve Parelli (Executive
Director of Other Sheep; Metropolitan
Community Church clergy)
  • Inauguration
  • Session II - An Inclusive
    Ecclesial Community

------Lunch-----

Rev. D. L. Paulson (Presbyter,
Church of South India)
    Session III - Lay Participation in
    the Ministry

Mr. Sanjeeva Ghosh
    BOOK RELEASE

Rev. Calvin Christo
    Session IV - New Humanity in
    Christ

Open Discussion on Homosexuality
and Society and the Church
    (Not scheduled - spontaneous
    response to Parelli/Ortiz
    story/presence and the Book
    Release)

-------Dinner-------

Film
Reporting from the conference grounds,
Thursday, July 7, 20100
By Rev. Steve Parelli

In the second session of the first day of the Young Lay
Leaders' Conference, sponsored by Trivandrum Theological
Forum, Amirtham Ecumenical Trust and Other Sheep, Rev.
Steve Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep, presented
a paper, using the medium of PowerPoint, on
"An Inclusive
Community or What the Church in India Must Consider
Towards Becoming a Welcoming and Affirming Church for
LGBT people."

Before presenting his paper, Parelli gave an overview of his
life as a gay Christian from his teen years to his mid-life adult
years when, at that time, he accepted himself as gay and
Christian.  Parelli introduced his husband Jose Ortiz who is
presenting on the second day of the conference.  They were
married, he said, in the USA, in the state of California, on
August 25, 2009.

In the first part of his presentation, Parelli said the church
needs to have an understanding of its own history of
exclusion and make whatever correctives are necessary.  
Quoting Dr. George Nalunnakkal of the Malankara Jacobite
Syrian Orthodox Church, Parelli said, "India's traditional
silence on 'sexuality' is nothing but a celebrated myth.  In
fact, the Indian mind had always engaged sexuality in a very
open and radical manner.  It was, in fact the colonizers who
had brought to India their 'values' and ethos, which
suppressed the Indian tradition."

In his second part, Parelli said the church needs to
understand what 'grid' the church is using when reading the
Bible.  Is it an inclusive grid, or a discriminating grid; is it
culturally and socially subservient or subversive.  Parelli said
the church should be open to radical and critical thinking in
moving towards inclusiveness.

Parelli said he moved from "thinking Biblically" to "thinking
critically" when he awoke one day to the thought, "What if
the church is wrong?"  He called this his "first epiphany" in
moving towards accepting himself as a gay man.  He said his
"second epiphany" came when he realized Romans 1:26, 27
- the "against nature" passage - was not about him.  He said
it was an intellectually violent upheaval, an  about-face when
he came to the realization that "nothing in Romans 1 is about
me."  

In his third part, Parelli talked about the church's need for a
love ethic.  Parelli said James B. Nelson makes the claim that
there is no biblical sex ethic, only a love ethic;  that, for
example, "there is no explicit prohibition" in the Bible on
premarital sex between consenting adults.

Parelli said the religious leaders of Jesus' day "narrowed the
love of God until it included only themselves" whereas Jesus
had "widened the love of God until it reached out to all men"
[William Barclay].

Parelli, making reference tp David Myers and Letha
Scanzoni (
What God Has Joined Together), said we are
social beings with the innate desire to belong.  Parelli noted
that Mr. Shyam Divan in
Voices Against 377, said
"Homosexuals suffer tremendous psychological harm.  Fear
of discrimination leads to a concealment of true identity."

An American-African civil rights activist of the 50's and 60's,
once told Parelli that the African-American, rejected openly
by society, had his church and his family as a place where
he could go and belong, but not so for the homosexual who
often experiences rejection by society, his family and the
church, and has nowhere to go.

Parelli concluded that "the reign of God on earth" is what
Jesus demonstrated in his crossing social boundaries and in
his disruption of the "habitual arrangement of things."  
"Jesus' teachings and actions were subversive," said Parelli.
"He freed things and people."
Rev. Parelli, speaking to Christian youth lay
leaders in India on being an Inclusive Church,
says the Church must move towards welcoming
the LGBT community
This web page was created July 7 and 8, 2011, at the conference
grounds in Kottavilai, Tamil Nadu, India,
and was published from the Classic Ave Hotel in Trivandrum, Kerala,
on July 9, 2011

Visits to this web page since July 10, 2011:
Handouts by Steve Parelli that
were given to each of the young
lay leaders
:

  • A four page outline of today"s
    presentation:  

    An Inclusive Ecclessial
    Community or What the
    Church in India Must
    Consider Towards Becoming
    a Welcoming and Affirming
    Church for LGBT people.

    (the foregoing outline is an
    adaptation of this paper)



Photo at left:
Jose Ortiz and Steve Parelli,
first row, center (on knees)

Speakers and attendees of the
first day of the Young Lay
Leaders Conference,
Kottavila,Kerala, India
July 7, 2011
Photo below:
Rev. Steve Parelli presenting,
first day of the Young Lay
Leaders Conference,
Kottavila,Kerala, India
July 7, 2011
Slide from Steve
Parelli's PowerPoint
presentation,
first day of the Young Lay
Leaders Conference,
Kottavila,Kerala, India
July 7, 2011
Photo at left:

A young lay leader
looking at one of Parelli's
handouts:

Kenyan Coming Out
Stories:  Creating
Communities of
Listeners

First day of the Young
Lay Leaders Conference,
Kottavila, Kerala, India
July 7, 2011
Photo at left:

Sam Sone, standing,
moderating
question-and-answer-
time following Steve
Parelli's presentation
(Steve is seated in
photo).

First day of the
Young Lay Leaders
Conference,
Kottavila,Kerala, India

July 7, 2011
Photo at left:

Young Christian lay leaders
listening to Steve Parelli's
presentation.

First day of the Young Lay
Leaders Conference,
Kottavila, Kerala, India
July 7, 2011

Steve & Jose's Other Sheep
Asia 2011 Ministry
with
India, Singapore and Nepal

Table of Index

India (Index Page)
July 2 - August 12, 2011

Daily Logs:

Major Events:
  • Young Lay Leaders Conference
  • Day 2 - Jose presents
    psychological dynamics of
    church bias towards
    sexual minorities
  • Day 3 - Future projects
    considered

Narratives:

Singapore (Index Page)
August 13 -16, 2011

Daily Log:

Major Events:
  • Steve & Jose present "Is There
    Such a Thing as 'Ex-gay'?"
  • Steve & Jose present a
    Powerpoint on their India 2011
    ministry

Narrative:

Analysis:

Interview:

Rev. Oyoung:

Nepal (Index Page)
August 17 - September 1, 2011

Daily Logs:

Major Events:
  • "Putting a Face on
    Homosexuality" - Meeting with
    area pastors

Narratives:

Nepal Evaluation Report:

Recources:
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