Membership, Ministry, LGBTI Policy, and the Body of Christ

The church’s new policy has created a pastoral crisis for LGBTI church members, their families, loved ones, and allies. Suddenly, many feel faced with an either/or choice—to stay in a church where they may be treated as apostate, or retreat from, or leave church participation. Are there other options for responses to this policy? Can lay members minister to the needs of LGBTI members and their children in ways that help to offset some of the anxiety, stress or harms triggered by the policy?  Is the policy an opportunity for members to discuss related issues more deeply?

Maxine Hanks and Tom Christofferson will share some ideas and pose some questions to foster dialogue within the group.




SUNDAY, March 6, 2016, 6:00 pm


Home of Elizabeth and Mark England
1194 S. 500 E., SLC, UT

Please come in the back door if you arrive late. 

1624274_1522653481292243_1954226496_nAbout Maxine Hanks:

One of the “September Six” who were excommunicated in 1993, she returned to LDS Church membership in 2012. In those years of “non-membership” Maxine studied Christian liturgy and clergy formation, also serving in interfaith ministry and chaplaincy.

Maxine lectures and writes on Mormon studies and women’s studies in religion. Her work focuses on gender in Mormonism and in Christianity, and explores other themes in Mormon studies and religious studies. She was a visiting fellow at Harvard Divinity School, and a research fellow with the Utah Humanities Council. She has lectured at the University of Utah, and guest lectured at Utah Valley U., Salt Lake Community College, Weber State U., Harvard Divinity School, and Claremont Grad. U. Her first book, Women and Authority, excavated Mormon feminist history, theology, discourse, and women’s authority. Subsequent books include Mormon Faith in America, and Getting Together With Yesterday. Her essays appear in anthologies such as Religion in America (2005), Secrets of Mary Magdalene (2006), and Latter-day Dissent (2011), among others.

IMG_0413About Tom Christofferson:

Tom has had a thirty-five year career in investment management and banking in the US and Europe. He served in the Canada Montreal Mission of the LDS church, and later asked to be excommunicated as, at that time in the mid-1980s he could not see a way to be gay and Mormon. He and his former partner, Clarke, were together for nineteen years. Tom is currently an active member of the LDS church and serves as a gospel doctrine teacher in his Salt Lake City ward.


Read, listen, watch:

Mormon Matters: Are There Fresh and Productive Ways to View the New LGBT Policy?

Jacob Hess: Thirty Questions Towards a More Productive LGBT-Conservative Dialogue

Jana Riess: Mormon lesbian told to divorce her wife or face excommunication hearing

Judy Dushku on the policy

Tribune stories:

Some questions to consider:

  • How does the new policy affect you? loved ones? members?
  • Can we reframe the policy to empower members esp. LGBTIs?
  • How can members respond to the policy in effective ways?
  • Can members minister to each other, in ways that offset harms of the policy?
  • Who is the Church ? What is the body of Christ? How can LGBTIs belong?