Our diverse community
Seeking support and empowerment
Ka mihinui kia koutou katoa
A big welcome to all
In the early days our community was centered around gay Christian men seeking support and empowerment. This was through the momentous social change of the civil rights struggles of the past 50 years, including homosexual decriminalisation, the AIDS epidemic, civil unions, antidiscriminating legislation, and marriage equality.
Nowadays ARCC still offers this support, but also has a much broader focus for LGBTQI+ people looking for a safe haven. We welcome you just as you are: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, polyamorous, takatapui, fa’afafine, male, female, non-binary, gender-fluid, intersex, transgender, transsexual or curious – all are welcome.
We aspire to be a community where people can affirm and celebrate who they are, and explore and express their spirituality in a holistic way that includes, physical, emotional social, cultural, aspects. Here are some of the dynamics that draw people to ARCC:
– Overseas students, immigrants & refugees
An important part of our community is LGBTQI+ overseas students, immigrant and refugees from both Christian and non-Christian traditions. Many come from oppressive societies or families. For many it would have been difficult or even dangerous to to be open about their sexuality within their counties or cultures of origin. For some, it would be illegal therefore highly risky.
– Recovery from spiritual trauma & abuse
Some members our our community have suffered various forms of spiritual abuse. This may have included exorcisms, conversion therapy, excommunication, shunning or condemnation. Less extreme forms include various forms of discrimination including being passed over for leadership, non-recognition of same sex relationship or marriage, and other blocks to full participation in their church. These harms may have also played out in the family, such as being kicked out of home, physically, sexually or emotionally abused, threatened or disowned.
– Struggling with inner conflicts
For many, reconciling sexuality and spirituality is a life-long process. For this group of people the struggle tends to be an internal process rather than external (outer process). This can involve battles with shame, guilt, anxiety, depression or addictions. Especially if they were brought up in non-affirming cultures or traditions or their identity development had been damaged by shaming, whakama or stigma. For such people navigating life always seems to involve needing to choose between various facets of their identity. This can be especially difficult for people who realise their orientation later in life, sometimes in heterosexual relationships with a family.
– Parents, friends & family
Discovering your son or daughter is LGBTQI+ can be a challenging process for some parents, even for family members and close friends. It can be especially painful if it conflicts with the teachings of their faith tradition. Seeing a loved one being traumatised or abused by their leaders or communities can be most heart rendering. Some parents are faced with the prospect of condemning their child or leaving their faith community. For such people ARCC offers a faith community where parents are not forced to chose between their loved ones and their faith.
– Spiritual seekers
Most people go through one or more periods of spiritual seeking throughout their life. Often this is preceded by some sort of life crisis such as a bereavement or relationship breakdown. Such a crisis often necessitates a reevaluation and exploring of life’s big questions, ultimate meaning and purpose. Exploring Christianity can be a daunting prospect for many LGBTQI+ people. ARCC offers a place where you can meet with fellow rainbow people from a wide variety of faith traditions. There is space enough for those who:
- secular or “don’t know” category
- do not have a faith background but are curious
- would like to explore their spiritual dimension
- those who are Agnostic or Atheists
- exploring through literature, stories, science, research experiences or media
You are welcome!
Whatever draws you to this website, ARCC aspires to be a faith community that :
- celebrates and empowers all LGBTQI+ persons
- welcomes Rainbow people new to Aotearoa New Zealand.
- supports those who have suffered spiritual abuse
- affirms those who are struggling with inner conflicts
- inclusive of friends and family
- open to people of diverse faith backgrounds