Here’s a conversation that weaves together multiple threads into one really powerful story. It’s a story about change and about the process of change — at an individual level as well as in a broader community.
Scott Higgins and Andrew Dodd are friends, pastors, and together help lead the community of Hamilton Baptist Church. This is their story of moving towards LGBTQI+ affirming theology. It’s also a story of merging two churches into one. And it’s the story of bringing those two Baptist churches through a process integrating theology, personal stories and pastoral sensitivity to become one church where everyone is genuinely welcomed and embraced, including those of diverse gender and sexualities.
Depending on where you listen from this might not seem like a big deal — but in terms of their state denominational context Scott and Andrew were kind of the first ones to do this. And going first always carries extra layers of risk and complexity.
Scott, Andrew and I spent a couple hours together discussing this story because there’s so much to learn from it — and so, next week’s episode is actually the continuation of this one. Essentially what you’re about to listen to is primarily about the story of Scott, Andrew and Hamilton Baptist Church. The next episode zooms the lens out and asks how might this inform other contexts.
But for this week let’s start with the story. Join me, Scott and Andrew sitting at Andrew’s table in Warabrook.