Taking 5 minutes to read this vulnerable article will tell you why this election is so deeply personal to me. “If you haven’t voted yet, this column is for you. With the election less than two weeks away, I want to share with you the story of my family. I was raised in the heart of evangelical Christianity in Colorado Springs, Colo. My father has been in an executive position at Focus on the Family for more than 30 years, and my mom homeschooled my brother and me from kindergarten all the way through high school, shuttling us around to all the activities that embraced our family values: Awana, VBS, church, youth group, fundraising for missions; you name it, we did it. I signed a vow of purity on my 13th birthday, I went on missions trips all over the world in my teens, and I did a year-long prayer internship after college. My family was the epitome of evangelical Christianity, and I was their poster child. “My family was the epitome of evangelical Christianity, and I was their poster child…that is, until I realized I was gay.” That is, until I realized I was gay. What ensued in my 20s was a battle that nearly took my life as I fought against the theology I was taught that told me you could not be both gay and Christian. I spiraled down a dark hole of depression, crippling anxiety, PTSD, self-hatred, self-harm and suicidal ideations because of the belief that […]
This week I wrote an article about my deconstruction journey and 3 deconstructed beliefs that can help us in this season of voting, fighting a global pandemic, and standing up against racial injustice. This article appeared first on Baptist News Global. This is just a piece of my journey, but I hope it also becomes a piece of yours. Transitioning from the beliefs I was raised with to the beliefs I now hold has taken me more than a decade. You don’t go from being a conservative evangelical to a progressive person of faith overnight. I used to be the poster child for evangelical Christianity. My father was (is) an executive at Focus on the Family, I was home-schooled K-12, I went on missions trips, I signed the purity vow and wore the purity ring, I did a year-long prayer internship after college called The Furnace (no, really!). Evangelicalism was my life. Had I not realized that I was gay in my early 20s, I likely still would identify as evangelical, still be holding conservative beliefs and still be the submissive woman (likely a pastor’s wife) that I was expected to be. But instead, you could say I had a crisis of faith. I was forced to recalibrate my beliefs because I was gay. Not all of us are presented with such an opportunity. Often, unless something spurs you to have a crisis of faith (the death of a loved one, a health diagnosis, a coming-out experience) you have no reason […]
My Baptist News Global article this month discusses shame and how what we’ve been taught to believe about our bodies affects the way we view both ourselves and God. I think it’s time we dismantle some of these harmful beliefs, don’t you? Click below to read the full article. “Who told you that you were naked?” God asked Adam and Eve in the Garden. It’s one of the first questions recorded in the Bible. From the very beginning, Evil has taught us that our bodies are bad. We’ve been told that we should not trust our bodies, our feelings, our emotions — that we should deny our very selves for the sake of God, of purity, of others…(read more).
Hey Friends, If you’ve been on the fence about the book club, our 6-month line-up is confirmed and below are the books we will be reading first! Most of the authors have been confirmed as special guests during our meetings as well, so we are definitely in for a treat! Registration ends this Saturday, August 15th! So if you or someone you know wants to join, don’t miss out! LGBTQ people and allies alike are encouraged to join. The registration window won’t open again until March 2021. SCHEDULE FOR SEPT. 2020 – FEB. 2021: September’s Book: “After Evangelicalism,” by David GusheeMeeting Date: Monday, Sept. 28th, 6pm-8pm MST (This meeting will include an author interview with Rev. Dr. David Gushee!) October’s Book: “Beyond Shame,” by Matthias RobertsMeeting Date: Monday, October 26th, 6pm-8pm MST (This meeting will include an author interview with Matthias Roberts!) November’s Book: “Unashamed,” by Amber CantornaMeeting Date: Monday, November 30th, 6pm-8pm MST (I look forward to discussing this with you!) December’s Book: “Outside the Lines,” by Mihee Kim KortMeeting Date: December 28th, 6pm-8pm MST (Author appearance TBD) January’s Book: “Transforming,” by Austen HartkeMeeting Date: January 25th, 6pm-8pm MST (This meeting will include an author interview with Austen Hartke!) February’s Book: “Undivided,” by Vicky BeechingMeeting Date: February 22nd, 6pm-8pm MST (Author appearance TBD) Time is running out, so if you want to join, don’t wait! I can’t wait to have this adventure with you!!!Amber Cantorna Register Now!
Dear Friends, Today, I have some hard news to share with you. After years of seeing doctors and chasing symptoms, I have finally found the answer to my continual health decline. It is not the answer that I wanted. I have tested positive and been diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, along with TBRF (a co-infection of Lyme), EBV, and mold toxicity. These are the root causes of my symptoms, but the list of other ailments that have stemmed from them is long and often overwhelming. Some of you have followed my health journey in recent years as I’ve battled chronic pain and fatigue, some of you have heard me talk about invisible disabilities from the stage, but most of what I’ve been battling, I’ve kept hidden from the public eye, not because I wanted to hide it, but because talking about something for which you don’t have a name is both difficult to describe and challenging for others to understand. So lately I’ve largely stayed silent as we continued to search for answers. And now we have them. And I am grateful that the searching is over. And yet, receiving this diagnosis comes with a mountain of difficult things to both process and learn. “Most of what I’ve been battling, I’ve kept hidden from the public eye, not because I wanted to hide it, but because talking about something for which you don’t have a name is both difficult to describe and challenging for others to understand.” Because life has […]
Good Morning Friends! Today is the day! Registration for the LGBTQ Faith Book Club is NOW OPEN! Remember, space is limited, so if you (and a friend!) are wanting to join, don’t wait! You can visit the link below to get all the details or to register. Learn More and Register Now Here! I hope to see many of your beautiful faces in this group! This will be a great opportunity to read, learn, and build community together with other like-minded people. It’s going to be a great adventure! So excited to do this with you,Amber
Hey Friends, Just a quick reminder that registration for our upcoming LGBTQ Faith Book Club launches this Thursday at 10am MST! Be watching for an email to arrive in your inbox on Thursday morning with the link. I would LOVE to have you join us! You can view all the information about it HERE! Remember, space is limited, so if you (and a friend!) are wanting to join, don’t wait! I hope to see many of your beautiful faces in this group! This will be a great opportunity to read, learn, and build community together with other like-minded people. I can’t wait to have this adventure with you! Amber Cantorna
IT’S A GO! After putting some feelers out this week, it looks like we have enough interest to launch our very first LGBTQ Faith Book Club! Here’s how this will go down: *People who showed initial interest will have the chance to register first! (If you have not yet expressed interest but want to be added, please reply to this email or comment on the book club social media post. Names will be added in the order I receive them.) *Sign-ups will happen beginning July 23rd (with a min. of 20 people required to launch). Once registration is complete, the book club members will be added to a private Facebook group and provided a list of potential books to read. They will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites and that is how the book list will be formed. The book club will then officially launch in September. *This book club is open to all people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and faiths. Allies, parents, pastors, family members, etc. of the LGBTQ+ community are also welcome to join. All you need is a desire to learn and grow. *Each month, weekly discussion questions will be provided in the within the private Facebook group for members to engage. At the end of each month we will host a virtual gathering (via Zoom or some other platform) and dialogue about the book…ideally with the author! (Note: While the author’s presence is the hope of each book chosen, it is not […]
Hi Friends, I’m currently thinking about launching a book club this fall that focuses on LGBTQ faith related books. I’d love to know if this is something you or someone you know would be interested in. Here are a few of the details to get you started: -Read one book a month-$25/month membership fee (with 6 or 12 month commitment, discount available for Patreon members)-Access to Facebook discussion group-Virtual meeting at end of month to discuss and dialogue, ideally with the author of the book (Note: Authors will not be approached for this project until I have sufficient interest)-Open to first 25-30 people who signup-Launching in September Some of the books that are being considered are: -Changing Our Mind, David Gushee-Modern Kinship, Dave and Tino Kalaf-Walking the Bridgeless Canyon,Kathy Baldock-Transforming, Austen Hartke-A Survival Guide for Heretics, Aaron Van VoorhisUnashamed, Amber Cantorna-Beyond Shame, Matthias Roberts-Practicing, Kathy Escobar-Unclobber, Colby Martin …and more!!! Nothing has been finalized yet, right now I am simply gauging interest to see if I have enough people wanting to join. So if you or someone you know might be interested and you would like to see this project launch this fall, please give me your input by replying to this email or commenting on my social media post! Be safe and stay healthy! Amber