Same-sex attraction and gender identity are among the most-talked about issues in secular society.
“To some extent, everybody has some type of relational or sexual brokenness,” said Scott Elmer, Executive Director of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Denver.
“It’s a thing where you’re tempted to think it’s such a hot button issue, maybe the Church doesn’t have an answer or that the Church’s answer would be incredibly unfulfilling,” he said.
But the Church does have an answer, and it will be addressed at the Gender Matters Conference, presented by Desert Stream Ministries on Jan. 19.
“What Gender Matters and what Desert Stream does is they say that Jesus has an answer and that the Father has given you an identity as his son or his daughter, and you’ll find fulfillment there,” said Elmer.
“Even if it’s somebody that’s experienced profound same-sex attraction, the Lord can actually bring about healing in that.”
Elmer believes that through Desert Stream, the conference has great potential to heal the hearts of those who attend.
“Desert Stream Ministries is a ministry which is designed to expose people to the love of God the Father, receive their identity in Jesus Christ and heal the wounds that have come from their brokenness,” he said.
Although the conference will focus on same-sex attraction and gender identity, it will be helpful to all who struggle with sexual or relational issues.
“The conference is designed for people that are looking for how Jesus answers people with this type of brokenness,” said Elmer. “If you come, you’ll realize that the Lord wants to restore and bring to fulfillment something in you.”
That fulfillment can come out of even the most complicated wounds.
“Most of the wounds you and I have is because of failed relationships,” said Elmer. “So, it’s actually relationship that restores that wound. The communal aspect with other Christians is necessary, too.”
The conference will utilize the teachings of St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict, as well as Scripture, to explain the Church’s position on these issues.
“[Desert Stream] brings people to the source of healing, which is Jesus, and then through some teaching, some ministry and powerful small group experiences, the Lord ministers healing,” said Elmer.
“The people that have been sent to it have experienced profound healing, profound renewed intimacy with Jesus and knowing him in a new and powerful way.”
Elmer explained that although society strives to make it easy for people who struggle with these issues by accepting them without question, “it’s a false compassion in the sense that we don’t think that’s the highest dignity that God called them to live.
“He doesn’t want to just leave them in brokenness,” he added. “This Jesus heals.”
Aaron Lambert contributed to this story.
Gender Matters Conference
Saturday, Jan. 19, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
1300 S. Steele St.