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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
I am a 39 year old dad who struggled for 14 years seeking (with God) to change my same-sex orientation. I tried everything in the book, from reparative therapy, to ex-gay conferences, countless failed attempts in search of a church community that could understand my journey and respect it. Then, ultimately, I married a woman, believing change would come the moment I said I DO. This all lead me to a moment where, for the first time in my life, I questioned my existence, but thank God I found the right therapist at the right time.
A year and half ago I went through a divorce, and I quickly learned that God was changing the landscape of the church I had always identified with. The term “affirmation” (fully supportive of LGBTQ Inclusion) became part of my language, and I began a beautiful journey of freedom. In a providential Google search for affirming churches in Florida, I came across Collective, even though at this time I was living in Miami. I recall capturing a vibrant sense of inclusion as I read the ethos and saw some images that reflected this loving and progressive community.
Early 2016, I contacted Ben, because someone I knew was searching for an affirming community in the Orlando area. I shared of my journey and inquired as to how affirming Collective truly was. I was so thrilled to find a church like this, who welcomes home people like me. I started joining the services online from Montréal, where I currently live. This opportunity did not exist 11 years ago for a man on my journey. I now hold a high level of respect and gratitude for you, Collective: for your leadership, who are all together, giving back the keys of the gospel to everyone in the LGBTQ community, from whom they were wrongly taken away. I live in Montréal. I don’t have an affirming non-denominational church to go to here, but this year, Collective has given me a hundred reasons why it is worth continuing to call myself a Christian, and to continue to pursue this beautiful journey of faith.
"This year, Collective has given me a hundred reasons why it is worth continuing to call myself a Christian, and to continue to pursue this beautiful journey of faith."
A statement that marked my soul came from Ben at Collective as I watch the service on August 22, 2016. The last words of the service were these: “The table has been set - it is open to us and to all people, and none of these, no one, no one, will ever be turned away.” I support Collective Pledge Drive 2017 because I believe so much in the impact this community has, and will have, in the lives of many, and that includes all people.
Thank you for letting your love for people reach this far north of the border.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
Paid Professional Childcare Available during Sunday Services
1 - 5 years of age | Childcare
6 - 11 years of age | Collective Kids