Former Pastor gets a new practice, welcomes LGBTI community
The Melbourne Pastor who was kicked out of a Baptist church for supporting marriage equality has opened a new counselling practice and has thanked the LGBTI community.
After being forced to resign from the Lilydale Baptist Church, which he practiced in for over 14 years, Reverend Matt Glover recently completed a masters degree in counselling and has welcomed the LGBTI community to his newly established practice, MGA Counselling Services.
“It was a traumatic time, and in the months that followed [the forced resignation], I was left wondering what the future would hold,” he said.
“But encouragement and support poured in from around the world, with Melbourne’s LGBT community taking the lead in ensuring my family and I were looked after.”
Following Glover’s resignation, which was promoted by his support for marriage equality and enforced by a secret vote by conservative Christian group Salt Shakers, various LGBTI community groups showed their support for Reverend Glover and his family by holding support fundraisers.
When MCV asked Reverend Glover whether his perspective on the Christian church as an organisation had changed, he said his confidence had been lowered.
“My faith in church went out the window for quite a while, but the fear and egos that get in the way [of the church as an organisation] causes incredible pain,” he said.
“My faith in the institution has been shaken severely, but my faith and spiritual validity has become more robust.
“I’m still determined to see other people live life to the fullest, which is what faith is about… it’s about celebrating the life we have and making the most of it,” he added.
“My own faith in god has basis in Christianity, but it’s something that I wouldn’t force on anyone else,”
In addition to his previous support for Australian Marriage Equality’s ‘Christians4Equality’ campaign, Reverend Glover has recently founded The ‘What I Would Like You To Know’ Project, which aims to act as a resource for helping communities to understand the difficulties that face some LGBTI people.
Reverend Glover said the online resource aims to avoid an academic-like feel, and instead uses the strategy of gathering quotes from the community on subjects including sex, gender, equality and faith.
“Some are a couple of words, some are a paragraph, some are a page or two, it’s a shared experience of the LGBTI community, but in bite size pieces that are quite profound,” he said.
Image: Eddie Jim (SMH)