From August 1-4, 2023, the First Latin American Meeting of Inclusive and Dissenting Churches took place in Bogota (Colombia), which brought together 14 open and affirming LGBTIQ+ churches and ministries from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Chile.
The meeting was the first time that leaders from these communities met to discuss issues such as religious fundamentalisms in Latin America, the pastoral care of LGBTIQ+ people, the fight against “conversion therapies,” the presence of trans people in the Church, among other urgent issues for the role that these communities play in their different contexts.
The Meeting was an ecumenical, prophetic, and intergenerational gathering, which allowed us to appreciate the common objectives of these congregations, such as providing safe spaces for LGBTIQ+ people to live their faith, offering healing for people expelled from their communities of origin and manifesting that God’s love does not discriminate.
I had the honor to lead this initiative with Jhon Botia Miranda, the first openly gay pastorof the Latin American Methodist Church, with the support of the Hispanic YouthLeadership Academy (HYLA) and the mentorship of its coordinator, Dr. Rev. Cristian De La Rosa, Dean of Students and Community Life at STH.