The Summit Church exists to BELONG to God and each other, to BELIEVE in the unconditional love of Jesus for all, and to strive to BECOME known for our compassion and acceptance of people as they are. During the month of June, The Summit celebrates the image of God in the queer community by taking part in community events and encouraging education to LGBTQ+ allies. We encourage you to choose resources to dig into and deepen your understanding of allyship with the LGBTQ+ community.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (CEB)
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 (NIV)
On the list below, you’ll find recommendations that relate to LGBTQ+ history, justice movements, key figures, foundational information, and stories that speak to the identities and personal experiences of the queer community. These items are a collection of both educational and entertaining resources that touch on struggle and discrimination, but also joy and authenticity. This is certainly not a comprehensive list – and there is greater representation now in pop culture and “real life” than ever before – so we encourage you to seek out additional content related to topics of interest and continue to diversify the content you consume to build more inclusive habits.
Amanda’s Note: I have read/reviewed/listened to much of this content, but not everything. These are all resources that have been vetted or otherwise recommended on reputable forums, but you may want to screen for appropriateness, especially when sharing with children. I’d recommend sharing this content with a conversation or additional educational resource.
- Tomboyland: Essays by Melissa Faliveno
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
- The Stonewall Reader by Jason Baumann
- How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS by David France (There’s also a documentary by the same name)
- “Living Nonbinary in a Binary Sports World” (Sports Illustrated) by Britni De La Cretaz
- “The Radical Queerness of Dolly Parton” (The Bitter Southerner) by Cory Alberson
- Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation by Jim Downs
Young Adult Fiction & Non-Fiction
- Carry On (#1 of Simon Snow series) by Rainbow Rowell
- Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston
- Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
- You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
- The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
- Here Wee Read’s LGBTQ+ Bookshop list
- Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival
- Peanut Goes for the Gold by Jonathan Van Ness
- And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell
- A kids book about gender by Dale Mueller
- A Kid’s Book About…”GenderCool” collection
- A kids book about being inclusive
- A kids book about being non-binary
- A kids book about being transgender
- The Origin of Everything series (PBS)
- “The origin of gender”
- “History of the word ‘gay’”
- “How did Pride become a parade?”
- “Why does ‘straight’ mean heterosexual?”
- “The Necessity of Normalizing Queer Love” (TedxDublin)
- Ted Talk LGBTQIA+ playlists
- “On Coming Out”
- “Love is Love”
- Pose (scripted, Seasons 1-2 on Netflix, 3 on FX)
- Schitt’s Creek (scripted, Seasons 1-5 on Netflix)
- Queer Eye (reality tv, Netflix), especially:
- “Preaching Out Loud” S5, E1
- “God Bless Gay” S2, E1
- Prideland (docuseries, PBS)
- Pride (docuseries, FX)
- Equal (scripted historical, HBO Max)
- A Secret Love (documentary; Netflix)
- It’s a Sin (miniseries; HBO Max)
- Pride (movie; rent on Amazon, Apply TV)
- The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (documentary; Netflix)
- Disclosure (documentary; Netflix)
- Paris is Burning (documentary; rent on Amazon, Apple TV)
- Angels in America (miniseries; HBO Max)
- Blue Babies Pink
- Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness (Earwolf), specifically episodes:
- “Before Stonewall” episode of Throughline (NPR)
- Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love podcast, specifically episodes:
- Celebrate Pride with NPR playlist (Spotify)
- Storycorps’ “Stonewall Outloud” collection
- “Navigating the coming out conversation – from both sides” episode of Life Kit (NPR)
- Nancy (WNYC Studios)
Social Media Accounts (many are duplicated on multiple platforms, so search the app you use most – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)
- Equality NC (IG)
- ALOK (IG)
- Trevor Project (IG)
- Free Mom Hugs (IG)
- Sylva Queer Support and Education (FB group)
- Blue Ridge Pride Center (FB)
- Charlotte Pride (FB)
- Tranzmission (FB)
- Youth Outright (FB)
- Beer City Sisters (FB)
The Summit’s Free Hugs Sermon Series
This Sermon series happened 8.22.21 – 9.19.21. Below is info on why we felt this series necessary along with video and audio of our sermons.
SERMON PODCASTS: https://thesummitonline.org/sermons/
It was time for an honest dialogue.
The Summit has always, like from the very beginning, been a faith community that welcomes all people. We have two slogans to attest to this: “All are welcome at The Summit” and “Belong, Believe, Become.” We have worked hard to create a place where people feel like they belong to God and each other. If you’ve come to The Summit divorced, tattooed, or ________ (insert whatever counter-cultural trait you own), you’ve hopefully felt that big ol’ Summit welcome. We’ve even welcomed friends of all sexual orientation and gender orientation.
It all goes back to Free Hugs.
In 2018, a few of our Summit leaders decided to go to Blue Ridge Pride in Asheville and give out Free Hugs. The point was to show queer people that they are loved unconditionally by us as Christians and by God. We felt like that’s where Jesus would have been – hugging people who may have felt rejected by the church. Around 15 Summit members and friends ended up attending. Our leadership was blown away. We realized many of us wanted to love on LGBTQ friends, especially since our experience at Pride seemed to help heal their painful experience with Christians. We’ve given Free Hugs a couple more times and plan to do so at Sylva Pride in September 2022.
What did our Free Hugs dialogue look like?
The preaching staff researched and prepared a five-week sermon series presenting the biblical and theological framework for the study.
Our goal was simple: we hoped that through this series we would see that there is a way to affirm our LGBTQ friends through the lens of Scripture, through experience, and most importantly by the Spirit of Jesus. We believe that the Summit will come to an even richer understanding of God’s inclusive love! We know that The Summit is a loving and welcoming church family, and that you love God and neighbor. That is what truly excites us as we move ahead into the conversation. We realize that those of you coming from a traditional interpretation of scripture on this topic may have a hard time thinking outside that understanding. No matter where you stand at the end of this sermon series and the Rise Up convos, YOU ARE STILL WELCOME AT THE SUMMIT. There is a place for everyone here as we continue to move towards understanding the inclusive nature of God’s love.
God’s arms are big enough to include all of us.
Life is a journey of love, hospitality, and inclusion, because none of us really deserve God’s love or grace. But we all still receive it – equally. Kinda like a big, free hug…
Free Hugs Sermon Series 2021
August 22 // Tracie
Walk a Mile in My Shoes: How the Church has Failed Gay Christians
August 29 // Steve
Twisted Scripture: An Interview, A Signature, and The Law (Old Testament)
September 5 // Steve
Twisted Scripture: Can We Know What Paul Really Meant? (New Testament)
September 12 // Jim P.
Matthew 18:6 and the Scapegoat
September 19 // Tracie
The Image of God: So……Is God Male or Female or Both?
Recommended Reading List
Everyone – “God and the Gay Christian” by Matthew Vines (a gay male Evangelical Christian) – our Rise Up Convos will focus on what we’ve learned from this book
Those coming from a traditional view of human sexuality – “Changing Our Minds” by David Gushee (a straight male Christian professor)
Those who want to hear from another first person account – “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate” by Justin Lee (a gay male Christian)