The whole communications team is experiencing a mixture of exhaustion and elation, after a weekend away at the ARPA (Australasian Religious Press Association) Awards. War Cry came away with the biggest haul of the night, and our biggest win ever, with seven awards.
Awards in themselves are not significant—that’s not why we do the job—but I was very moved to have one particular article recognised: our gold award for the feature article ‘Us Not Them: The Church and Homophobia’. This feature shared the story of Craig Hutson, who for the first time, publicly shared his story growing up gay in The Salvation Army—he described it as ‘death by a thousand cuts’.
I am so thankful for the courage of leadership in allowing this article to be published, and helping end a conspiracy of silence from the wider church on LGBT+ issues. This feature has been by far the most read War Cry article online, and I still get regular requests for copies of the edition. One older gentleman at ARPA told me he read the article with tears in his eyes, and it helped shift his position.
This shows me that people are longing to engage with this issue in a meaningful way. No, we do not need more articles condemning homosexuality—we have more than enough of those.
We need many, many more articles that show compassion and a way forward for any group of people much loved by God, but wrongly rejected by the church.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
Kaua e wehi kua oti nei hoki koe te hoko e ahau; kua karangatia e ahau tōu ingoa; nāku koe.