We recently had a successful Walking Between Worlds Seminar on the Gold Coast, which was beautifully organized by Pastor Shane St Reynolds from the Universal Church of Love. The Universal Church of Love is the only LGBTQ affirming church on the Gold Coast.

Walking Between Worlds is an initiative that draws upon over two decades of experience in working with LGBTQ individuals from faith backgrounds, including a significant number of conversion “therapy” survivors, totaling around 4,000. The seminar is designed to equip individuals from various backgrounds – both faith and non-faith – who work closely with the LGBTQ community, including therapists, counselors, chaplains, church members, and LGBTQ workers. Not only do LGBTQ individuals with faith backgrounds find this seminar helpful, but it also serves as a valuable resource for our LGBTQ allies.

The Walking Between Worlds Seminar sheds light on the specific needs of this community, emphasizing the impacts of conflicts between faith and sexuality. We recognise that these experiences can be intense, and at times, even life-threatening. Our seminar provides tools and strategies to help LGBTQ individuals process and resolve these conflicts and the resulting trauma. It is worth noting that the seminar has received endorsement from the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

We received some wonderful feedback  from participants of the seminar. If you are interested in hosting a #WalkingBetweenWorlds seminar, please contact us at info@abbi.org.au.

The seminar reinforced that there is such a need for change in churches. The damage churches can inflict on the wider LGBTQ community because of the outdated beliefs is enormous. The chart about the evolution of conversion “therapy” over the decades was helpful. Anthony was vibrant, interesting and honest and created a comfortable space for us to participate. He also has a great sense of humour. 10/10 Anon

Walking Between Worlds validated and vindicated things I was feeling. The practical steps of how to help someone and the different ways that people might need to process these emotions was particularly helpful. Tamara Jackson

The diversity continuum Anthony used helped me understand myself and others in response to LGBTQ issues and other social justice issues. I felt comfortable and at ease as a learner to ask questions and participate. Anthony was warn, honest, engaging and gracious. The seminar content was great. 10/10 Cassie Love – School Chaplain and teacher

The pain and mental health issues presented are extreme and very concerning. The space of “lostness” and confusion is unique for LGBTQ people of faith and PTSD is very real. The process of coping for some is long, protracted and needs understanding. Learning about the faith resolution options was very useful. I was reminded of the need to create a safe space for people to revaluate and explore – no compulsion. The seminar gave me so much I had never thought of at all and was pitched for both novices and the experienced. The conversion “therapy” history was very helpful. Anthony was honest, affirming, inclusive, gracious, wise and made a difficult topic very safe. I left hopeful and wanting to advance the process of love, advocacy and fellowship. 10/10  Bruce Flemming – Religious Education teacher

The most helpful thing to me was the belief resolution process Anthony shared and the stories of those who’ve contacted him was very moving. 10/10 Emma Leitch PhD student (theology) ACU

The seminar gave me an understanding of the Christian perspective to improve my capacity to empathise and connect with my counselling clients. The history of conversion “therapy” was enlightening. The content covered everything and was more than I expected and the seminar flowed well. 10/10 Peta McCullagh – Counselling student – University of Southern Queensland.

I walked away with an understanding that resolution of faith and sexuality is more complicated than I previously imagined. I also learnt that LGBTQ community is very diverse. After the day, I feel more equipped to help LGBTQ people along their journey. Thank you. I had a great day. 10/10

If you are interested in hosting a #WalkingBetweenWorlds seminar, please contact us at info@abbi.org.au.