During a conversation in Orlando the week before, District Apostle Leonard Kolb invited Richard to offer any help in understanding LGBT issues to youth leaders, should there be questions from anyone.
Rainbow-NAC United States addresses ministers at Youth Ministries Conference
Richard D'Amore, a committee member of Rainbow-NAC United States, had the opportunity to address over 250 Youth Leaders from all over the country at the Youth Ministries Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, on May 4, 2013.
At the meeting, the District Apostle approached Richard, asking if he would speak for about 5 minutes in front of the entire assembly. Before he called him to the podium, he introduced Youthcompanion.org, a new website for youth leaders. He displayed a page similar to the U.S. Church website found also on ministercompanion.org,* and to Richard's surprise, there was the website for Rainbow-NAC International, www.rainbow-nac.org on Youthcompanion!
“I gave my brief talk on the history of Rainbow-NAC, what LGB stands for, teen bullying, teen suicides, what our issues are, the support that Rainbow-NAC can offer ministers, youth leaders, and LGBT youth, as well as parents coping with a gay child. None should feel the need to leave the church. Lastly, I mentioned the brochure, 'Gay and New Apostolic – A Contradiction', available to all, and that the future of the church lies in the youth, and more!”, recounts Richard. “I spoke of my life history, having to leave the church for 20 years upon 'coming out', and returning to church.”
When he was done, everyone gave a round of applause, after which the District Apostle announced that if anyone had any questions, they should seek him out at any point over the weekend.
Furthermore, the District Apostle made the announcement to the assembly that “being gay is not a choice”.
The impact that short speech had was unimaginable. So many youth leaders came up to Richard asking for information, counsel and advice. Our US Facebook page now has over 190 members and straight allies.
We want to thank District Apostle Kolb for making everything possible to help Rainbow have more visibility and a presence that all are aware of. This is a huge step forward for Rainbow-NAC!
*The NAC-US webpage for LGBT: www.nac-usa.org/connect/lgbt.html