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We in the Zacchaeus Fellowship bear witness to the transforming power of Christ's love in our lives.
As men and women who have struggled with same-sex attractions, we seek to be a voice of hope to the church and to others who share these struggles. We encourage the Church to stand firm in proclaiming to everyone who experiences same-sex attractions that Christ offers them new life and hope.
We know what it's like to have homosexual feelings. Yet we also have come to accept the Biblical teaching that all sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage are contrary to God's Will as declared in Holy Scripture.
In the New Testament, Zacchaeus had a personal encounter with Jesus and was radically transformed by that experience (Luke 19:1–9). A tax collector, Zacchaeus had grown rich by stealing from his fellow Israelites, who despised him for collaborating with the Roman occupiers.
Zacchaeus felt unloved – until he met Jesus. Jesus loved him as God the Father loves us: unconditionally.
Jesus reached out to Zacchaeus and offered him God's saving love. It was that love which transformed Zacchaeus, starting him on a new path in life – a path of honesty, justice, and doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
Assured of God's steadfast love, Zacchaeus felt the freedom to confess his sins – all that he had done wrong in the past – and to turn over a new leaf. He chose to become obedient to God's Will and to lead the life God created him to lead.
Like Zacchaeus, we have encountered Jesus in our journeys. And once the love of Jesus touched our hearts, there really was no turning back – though that choice is always there.
Like Zacchaeus, we just knew there was no other real option but to leave behind our lives of sin and to follow Jesus.
All of us in the Zacchaeus Fellowship have come to realize that homosexual acts are contrary to the Will and character of God.
Some of us were almost instantly healed of the brokenness that had led to same-sex attractions. Others experienced a longer period of healing and transformation into heterosexual wholeness. Others, though continuing to be tempted by same-sex desires, have determined to obey God's teachings by living in celibacy.
Many people in our society, and even in our churches, have encouraged us to see our same-sex urges as God-given, and to give in to them. Even though men and women were created to be complementary, we have been told, falsely, that God does not care whether we express our sexuality with a partner of the same sex.
When Jesus spoke to the woman caught in adultery, he told her, "I do not condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin" (John 8:11). God's message to us is likewise balanced. Unfortunately, in our experience, the full truth of the Gospel has too often been reduced by its human interpreters to either compassion without righteousness or righteousness without compassion.
In a variety of ways, each of us has struggled to live faithfully in obedience. Together we have built each other up in faith and in our witness to the wider Church family.
In the spring of 2004, the Holy Spirit drew together a group of ex-gay or celibate men and women from Anglican churches across Canada.
The backdrop was a set of motions before the 2004 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). By endorsing same-sex sexual relationships, these motions would undermine the Christian Church's historic teachings on sexual morality.
We had to speak out.
Bishop Terrence Buckle (now Archbishop) of the Diocese of Yukon, speaking as our chaplain, read our letter to the General Synod into the record of that assembly. Soon afterwards, we chose the name "Zacchaeus Fellowship."
In response to the Windsor Report, we expressed to the global Primates our grave concern over the ACC's long drift away from Biblically sound teaching on homosexuality. We took heart from the Primates' declaration in February 2005.
In October 2005, five of us gave our testimonies before the Canadian House of Bishops, where we were encouraged to spread our word of hope to the church.
We continue to speak out, as individuals and as a group, about the transforming power of Jesus Christ in our lives.
We invite you to join us as a Member if you have lived with same-sex attractions yourself and are committed to submitting them to the authority of Holy Scripture. And – whatever your personal history – we invite you to pray with us and for us.
Most Members of the Zacchaeus Fellowship belong to Anglican churches in Canada; several of us are priests. Archbishop Buckle serves as our chaplain.
We are currently a small and fairly informal group led by an executive council with clergy and lay members.
We operate an e-mail discussion forum and pray for each other regularly. Spread across the country as we are, we've been blessed by occasional opportunities to meet in person.
We see ourselves not as a political lobby group but as a voice of hope to those struggling with same-sex attractions, and a source of encouragement to all Christians who believe the Church needs to be faithful to Scripture and to the Apostolic faith once delivered to the saints.
Many of us have given testimonies to our churches or to other groups. We are open to sharing our stories publicly, and several of our testimonies appear on our Web site.
Our witness is now extending internationally through a growing number of Members and Friends outside Canada.
We welcome new Members and Friends. The core membership of the Zacchaeus Fellowship consists of people who acknowledge having experienced significant same-sex attraction: Anglicans as Full Members and people from other churches as Associate Members. Anyone who supports our goals may become a Friend of Zacchaeus.
Join as a Member or Friend or ask for further information by .a ready-to-print brochure (590 KB .pdf).
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