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Transforming Book to be Published in September

Bristol House Publishers of Anderson, Indiana will have a new book by the editor of the Transforming Congregations newsletter, Robert L. Kuyper, ready for purchase in September.  It is designed to be a basic handbook for congregations who want to learn more and consider being available for transforming ministry. The book is titled, Crisis in Ministry: a Wesleyan Response to the Gay Rights Movement.  With questions for discussion in each chapter, it will be an excellent study guide for many churches.

The book looks at the modern gay rights movement and the accommodating and homophobic responses from the church.  Then a theological basis is laid for a healing and transforming response from the congregation itself as the body of Christ.  Renewal is necessary for the healing of sexual brokenness to take place.  The book shows that the same transforming ministry took place in the New Testament Church and in the Wesleyan revival.

Finally the book concludes with a practical look at what transforming ministry entails in the local church considering a number of ministries in which a local church might engage including supporting ex-gay ministries, being a friend to those in healing, ministry with parents and families and AIDS ministry.

Dr. Newton Malony, a United Methodist psychologist and minister, a professor in the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, said, "Nowhere else will one find so balanced a Biblical and pastoral presentation of concern for those who are caught in the travail of homosexuality." 

Dr. Malony continues, "This book can be read with the knowledge that judgment is always tempered with mercy and hope.  Kuyper speaks from long experience in a ministry that always holds out the conviction that lives can be changed by the power of the gospel.  Although he knows that all Christians are equal at the foot of the cross, he yet writes with specific focus on what is one of the most difficult addictions of our day.  I recommend it to those who are trying to find their way into a compassionate Christian approach to the gay and lesbian issue."

Dr. Malony also served as the dissertation mentor when Dr. Kuyper wrote it for the Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller.  The book was developed from the dissertation.

Mary Heathman, who is the Director of Where Grace Abounds ministry in Denver, Colorado, has this to say: "Robert Kuyper has captured the essence of the Church's dilemma over the issue of homosexuality.  His thorough treatment of the subject is a breath of fresh air in the dank halls of controversy over gay rights, reparative therapy, and the Christian's responsibility to minister God's grace and truth.  He offers a strong challenge to the Church to wake up and take its rightful place as ambassadors for the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world of sexual sinners, and for that I am deeply grateful."  Mary is a past President of Exodus, International.

Jim Heidinger, Director of Good News, made these comments: "In this work, Bob Kuyper makes a major contribution to a debate that has often lacked factual and well-informed information. Bob brings just that kind of perspective along with the compassionate heart of a pastor.  I am pleased to see this work published and I commend Bob for it."

Robert L. Kuyper has been the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Bakersfield, California, since 1984.  The Founder of the Transforming Congregation movement, he has served as its newsletter editor for the last ten years.  He is has been a member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference since 1968.  A graduate of Emory University and Vanderbilt Divinity School, he earned his Doctor of Ministry in 1997 at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.  He is married to Elizabeth Kuyper, and they have two grown sons.

Transforming Congregations is committed to provide information, resources and training in understanding and involvement in a ministry of transformation of homosexuals, and also to encourage transforming ministry based on loving compassion, Scripture and The Discipline of the United Methodist Church.  Transforming Ministries seeks to: AFFIRM the Biblical position that God loves all persons, that homosexual practice is one sin among many and that the power of the Holy Spirit is available to transform all persons – including homosexual persons, MINISTER to persons struggling with homosexuality, their families and all others affected by homosexuality as partners in Christ's work of healing, CALL the church to recognize its need for repentance and healing of its homophobic and accommodating responses, INTEGRATE all persons striving to live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ into full membership in the local church.

To order the book, call Bristol House at 1 (800) 451-READ  They also plan to have the book available for sale at their display at the Confessing Movement Meeting, September 9-11, in Indianapolis.  A twenty percent prepublication discount will be available until that meeting.

For more information, contact Robert L. Kuyper at office (661) 325-0785 or home (661) 322-7470.  FAX (661) 325-0786.

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