The foremost progressive church for all, especially the LGBTI community of Durban
Jesus invited, accepted and loved everyone. No one was rejected. We believe the Body of Christ must be the same, irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation or where they might be on their road to discover God and His plan for their lives.
The Upper Room Communion was founded in October 2012 by Sean Cameron Gunn and Gert van der Linde, who both have been called by God to this work and have spent many years preparing for this task.
They have been ordained and inspired by the Reverend Joan Wakeford to fulfil God’s calling. We are an unwaveringly LGBTQ affirming body of believers.
We will continue to make the Church and this world a more open, loving, and safe place for the LGBTQ community and their families.
We believe the Church must be fully inclusive in both the pews and the pulpit or it is less in the image of God than it could and should be.
We believe that gender identity and sexual orientation have no bearing on a person’s moral worth or their standing in the eyes of God. We believe we all are the beloved, as we are without alteration. We believe that everyone is a reflection of the Divine, created good, made of what God is made of. We believe Jesus calls us to love one another, not to tolerate one another; not to warmly embrace some and to hold others at a distance.
We celebrate all life with equal ferocity. We’re not going to apologize for any of this and we’re not relenting. We’re not stopping because our faith compels us, just as your faith compels you.
We too have read the Bible and gone to seminary and served in the Church and prayed fervently and listened intently for the voice of God, and all of these things have yielded our conclusions. We will gladly tell you why we believe what we believe, but we’re not going to argue with you about the validity of our convictions because we don’t need to justify our path to you.
We’ve already walked our road. We understand that because of what you believe, our position may cause fear and anger to rise up and boil over and that you may feel the need to defend yourself. You may feel driven to attack us, sometimes violently, and we will try to respond not in kind, but in kindness.
We will do our best to reflect the Jesus we have come to know, by not questioning your humanity or your character or the legitimacy of your faith—but we also will continue to speak without censoring or softening, because that is how injustice is allowed to fester and reproduce.
You can say all manner of hateful, disparaging, insulting things, but that doesn’t matter because we believe in the inherent worth of all people and we believe that Scripture bears this out.
We no longer will tolerate a Church where any group of people are marginalized in the name of God and we will speak into that with sustained force.
To say it plainly: We’re here for the duration so shouting us down or shutting us off is not a viable option.
A Church without the LGBTQ community is simply no longer acceptable and we, Christians of all identities and orientations, stand together to speak in unison: Love is indeed winning and we are the loud and shimmering proof thereof.
If this is bad news to you, we’re going to refer you to Jesus and let the two of you work it out. We don’t believe we can change you anyway. God does the changing.
In, the meantime we’re going to keep living our faith convictions just as you live yours, and we’re going to love people as God personally calls us to.
This is how that “freedom in Christ” thing works.
We are the Church that is becoming what it was meant to be: fully, unapologetically inclusive.
To be completely clear, our beliefs are summarised below.
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him, all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day, he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son, he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.