RUMTX supports, and will assist, those desiring to form or join an Open Hearts group. Open Hearts is a Caring Ministry for family and friends of LGBTQ+ persons and strives to follow Christ's call to love one another.
SUPPORT: Through sharing personal stories and learning that we are not alone, the group offers non-judgemental support. Many families experience great stress and, in some cases family disintegration in the face of one member's acknowledgement of his or her differing sexual orientation. Confronting the issue on a personal level places a new reality in our lives. Within the group, participants can begin their journey of reconciling the "coming out" of a friend or family member.
EDUCATION: Education is key. Separating fact from fiction regarding issues with which we are not familiar is crucial to our understanding. Discussion of any feelings of pain, anger, blame, guilt, fear or doubt are welcome. To provide additional insight and information, outside speakers and panels will be used when appropriate.
SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE: Many have a need for information on religious and spiritual issues related to LGBTQ+ persons. What does the Bible say? How are these passages interpreted? How has religion characterized homosexuality historically? Are the church's views changing? All of these issues must be brought into focus if we are to reconcile our personal faith with devotion to family.
FELLOWSHIP: Because God has created us as we are, we seek to accept all people. We welcome diversity as we become an inclusive part of a church with open hearts, open minds, and open doors. No two people will hear or feel the same about the disclosure of a loved one's homosexuality. We are offering a support group for family and friends facing this issue.
CONFIDENTIALITY: The purpose of this group is to provide a safe space within the faith community where people can confront the issues facing family members and friends of LGBTQ+ persons. It is our goal to provide a safe and affirming atmosphere for families and friends as they begin to understand a reality that many never anticipated. As trust and confidentiality among attendees are essential, we request that participants respect the need of other's to tell their own story, confident that it will not be repeated outside the group and that everyone's privacy will be honored.