I'm serving as a Chaplain this week at one of FOCUS's "Summer Projects" locations -- in Big Sky, MT. As part of the summer, the students get to attend talks by different speakers. This week at Big Sky, there was a talk by Kim Zember.
She shared her powerful testimony of growing up Catholic, discovering her attraction to women, living that out, and her reversion as an adult, and finding healing. It was truly powerful. Her testimony and talks can easily be found online, and she has also made videos for Ascension Press. The Lord truly loves us -- every single person, no matter what. We don't get our stuff together first, to earn His love. He loves us first, and that changes everything.
What struck me was the range of very insightful questions from the students -- how to love friends who are LGBT, should I attend a family member's same sex wedding, attending Pride Marches as a form of outreach, and so on. Kim has been here for a few days and has had the opportunity to meet one on one with students as well.
My question to her was her response to voices in the Church, some very influential, especially on social media (a certain prolific Jesuit priest comes to mind), that call for the Church's teaching to change (the German Synodal Way, or the Cardinal of Luxembourg), or at least suggest that it is inadequate. She said that, basically, if we truly lived the Church's teaching of welcome, love, and led people to Christ, such voices would not be necessary.
Kim has recently moved to the Metro Atlanta area from San Diego. I certainly look forward to continuing the conversation. She is working with an ecumenical outreach to the LGBTQ+ community. She mentioned the Freedom March, that has been around for 5 years. It will be in Atlanta in the Fall. Looks really intriguing.