Bridging Grace & Truth
Meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7PM in the last room of the nursery hallway

Welcome to all who have questions about sexual identity and Christianity!

How are we as individuals and as the Church called to respond? Whether you have personal, general or theological questions, our prayer is that you find helpful information and support through our Bridging Grace & Truth support group.

Our life’s work for each of us is to learn who we are and what Christ would have us do with our lives: searching for where to find love, purpose and safety. How we approach SSA/LGBT+ is an important part of that puzzle, no matter what role it plays in our lives.

“I was a bit anxious attending a LBGT+ meeting. I really don’t have much knowledge of the community, my experience is with my nephew and a few friends and clients that are LGBT. I was impressed with the love and peacefulness that was prominent. The results from my first meeting wer: a desire to learn more from the Bible, attend more meetings, and to give love and support. There was no judgement. In contrast, there is a focus on education and knocking down preconceived walls.”
C.G. – attender of Bridging Grace and Truth

We’ve collected a wide range of resources we look forward to sharing with you. Resources include books, videos and web pages. Books and more are available at our meetings..

Books and online information can only go so far: it is part of God’s plan that we need each other. We’ve been instructed to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), and share one another’s joys (Philippians 2:17). Bridging Grace and Truth is a safe place to share our heart’s concerns and questions: to offer support and understanding to each other in our journey toward and with Jesus.

Our group encompasses both LGBT+ and family and friends. Each meeting we gather together for a time of sharing and prayer as we strive to better know and understand each other, family and friends, and LGBT+. Our relationship with God takes preeminence over all. All group meetings and one-on-one conversations are held in confidence. We welcome all.

We invite you to reach out to us with any questions or comments. Leader contact info is listed below.

We are looking forward to learning your story and sharing ours, as we journey together!

Dave Mansi
mansifamily@hotmail.com
440-231-9322

Kelly Mansi
mansifamily@hotmail.com
440-231-9323

Our goal as a group:
What is God’s desire for each of us as we move forward together in step with Jesus?
“It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, our job to love.” – Billy Graham
Looking back – We as individuals and as a Church, have a history of getting our roles wrong. We have assumed roles that are not ours. Christ said “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). We are painfully aware that we have fallen short in this, particularly toward LGBT+ people, and have often been more hateful, bigoted, homophobic than loving, open-hearted and welcoming. We regret as a church and as individuals the rift between us and seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
Looking forward – We are committed to extend love and care to all people. Our desire for LGBT+ people is the same as for ourselves and all people: Our purpose is to exalt Jesus Christ by making disciples who… Love Jesus, Grow with others and Serve the World. Our desire for each of us is to encounter Christ where we are and to walk more and more in step with him in all areas of our lives. We aim to work together to grow in faith, mutual trust and community as we each commit to:
• Listen – with open hearts to understand the other person’s experience. By listening attentively to each other’s concerns we hope to establish the respect and trust necessary to open the door for each of us to share more deeply our experiences, hurts, hopes & desires. “Be quick to listen, slow to speak” (James 1:19).
• Empathize – identifying with another person’s joys and pains even when our experiences are quite different. Growing in our ability to understand the experiences and convictions of others, even when they differ from our own.
• Agree – find common ground. We will never agree on everything – whether personal, theological, political or social — but we are confident that we will continue to find more common ground than we ever imagined.
• Partner – together, move forward in our journeys toward and with Christ as we commit ourselves to give loving support to each other, especially when it is really hard.
• Share – the purpose, peace, hope and love that God reveals to us, with all who care to hear.

Bridging Grace & Truth Principles of Support
Our principles represent what we are striving for: our touchstones and aspirations as we journey to come to a full Biblical understanding and response to the range of sexual diversities present in our culture. This is our belief system regarding universal, necessary truths of scripture that guide and strengthen our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors when life brings us this particular challenge.
1. We will see all individuals, including ourselves, as God’s very much loved, unique creation, yet broken/distorted by the presence of sin in each of us, and in our world, and are very thankful for Christ’s work of redemption offered to all. 1 John 4:10
2. We don’t have all the answers, we don’t even know all the questions. But we know Christ does and desires to show us the way.
1 Peter 1:15-16, Proverbs 3:5-6
3. We aim to grow in our ability to love and treat each other as Jesus loves and treats us: in a perfect blend of both Grace and Truth.
John 1:14,17; Phil 1:9-11
4. We find strength and understanding in sharing our journeys and listening to the journeys of others. Gal 6:2
5. We reject stigma in ourselves and others and acknowledge that ridding ourselves of prejudice is a process, not an event. We affirm the value and dignity of every person, thankful that Jesus unites us as “one people”. James 4:12, Eph 2:14
6. We won’t consider anyone’s pain to be less than our own. Phil 2:30
7. As God forgives us, we forgive ourselves and others, and reject guilt. Matt 6:12-15
8. We are not here to debate. We acknowledge our differences and share in a non-confrontational manner.
2 Tim 2:23, James 1:19, Eph 4:1-3
9. We accept we cannot resolve all problems and disagreements, or change other people, and so place them in God’s hands.
1 Sam 16:7, Romans 8:26
10. We expect a better future in a realistic way. Romans 8:28, Eph 3:14-21, Phil 4:6-7
11. God never gives up on us, so we will never give up hope for ourselves and others. Romans 15:13; 8:31-39, Eph 3:14-21
12. The personal information we hear at our meetings, stay at our meetings. We share in confidence that what we say will go no further. Proverbs 11:13