My name is Ryan Burger and I’ve called Vintage home for nine years. I’ve served in the Info Bar and as a community group leader. Currently I serve with Vintage Kids teaching elementary schoolers (whether they like it or not).
I’m a man of self-contradictions. I love the early morning but struggle to get up in time to see it. I’m introverted, but feel suffocated if I’m alone too long. I value honesty and vulnerability, but wrongly put on masks with people without thinking twice. I’m probably the most depressed optimist you’ll ever meet!
One of my apparent self-contradictions is that I’m a homosexually-oriented Christian. When I came out to a housemate recently, he blurted, “But you’re a Christian!” I had to explain how I’m at peace with traditional Christian teaching about sex and marriage. On the other side, I’m constantly having to explain to Christians why I don’t outright reject my sexuality.
I believe I fit into God’s kingdom, but admit it raises questions I’m still working through. For example, in what capacity might I have a place in the Body of Christ not in spite of my sexuality but in light of it? And at the same time, what does it mean for God to own my sexuality? What does it mean to live faithfully as a follower of Christ, washed, cleansed, and redeemed in his blood, with my identity firmly rooted in my relationship with him? I don’t have all the answers, but after working with the Vintage leadership along with non-straight members of the Vintage family, I think we’ve caught a glimpse of the next step.
On behalf of Vintage Church I’m excited to introduce Intersect, a safe space for doubters, seekers and followers of Christ to explore the intersection of faith and non-straight sexuality.
Intersect will initially consist of 6 monthly round-table discussions open to non-straight doubters, seekers, and followers. (Two of these have already happened, so we have four left.) Our vision for these events is to create a space for discipleship and mentorship between non-straight people in our community. Each month’s discussion will focus on a particular topic, so check out the roadmap if you want to see what’s coming up! I will be facilitating these discussions. Attend any number of these—drop in or drop out mid-series. Since this is a learning opportunity for the Vintage leadership, a Vintage pastor may sit in to observe. Participants will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement which commits them to protecting the privacy of their fellow participants.
Intersect’s goal is the exact same as that of Vintage Church: to see lives transformed by the Gospel. The Gospel is good news for all people regardless of sexual orientation. I’ve been astonished at the good news God has for me. Would you join me in praying for him to use Vintage to make that good news known in our city?
The next round-table discussion will be on April 26th at 7:30p in the Round Table room upstairs! Email email@example.com with any questions.