Exodus International closing- an open letter

You can almost not help having heard the news that Exodus International announced last Wednesday that they were shutting down. We’ve been reading a lot of “open letters” to Alan Chambers, and to Exodus, a lot of press accurate and inaccurate, a LOT of comments by people on all sides, and a lot of disclaimers.

Kristin and I felt it was important now (that we’ve had some time to rest after a very busy week last week) to add our own voices, though they may not be heard as loudly as some, to this subject.

Kristin and I are second generation (and now last) generation Exodus– the organization has played a significant role in our lives as our parents have been the directors of a member ministry for most of our lives, and as we became involved ourselves. We are deeply thankful for the ways in which Exodus has blessed our family, it’s leaders have served as role models for us in our youth and have become dear friends as we’ve grown up. In our deepest time of grief the Exodus family was a family to us who knew our parents; their hearts, their heart to minister to those in need, and their desire to love the lost, the lonely, and the broken the way that Jesus does, and stood beside us as we lost our Mom. It has been a great privilege and honor to learn from and serve beside so many fearless men and women of God and we thank each and every one of them for the years of blood, sweat and tears they have put into the ministry of Exodus.

That said, and while we grieve to see the end of an era, we also couldn’t be more excited about the road ahead. We stand beside other leaders and are hopeful for the chance to start a narrative that will build a bridge between the church and not only the gay community, but all those seeking a relationship with Jesus, no matter their walk of life. While holding firmly to biblical sexual ethic, it is our deepest desire to communicate the love of God in a way that heals instead of brings division, and that opens hearts to truth instead of leaves them defensive and alone. In all of this we are confident, in spite of the doubts some people have expressed, that the views being expressed by Alan Chambers and other leaders like him are God-inspired, and we agree with them whole-heartedly.

“Love The Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31

 

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17 thoughts on “Exodus International closing- an open letter

  1. Kristin Graham says:

    My mom loved being a part of Exodus she loved the friendship and love and understanding she felt as part of this community and after she died the people of exodus became like family to Katie and I so we wanna say thank you! Thank you for being a little piece of our moms heart, nobody knew her or loved her like the people of this association and from the first time we came to a conference after she died it felt just like home. You gave us a real place to feel her and honor her and we are forever grateful. Its Because of the work that God did through Exodus that our family even exists so we thank you with all our hearts ,to the staff in Florida the board and the member ministries through out the world.

  2. Randy says:

    ::: sniffle ::: hugs ::: all around ::: Thanks for this post.

  3. Laura says:

    You and your family have a unique vantage point in this discussion. Your opinion carries a lot of weight in my mind. I have had some doubts about things said regarding the closing of Exodus, but your take on it is very helpful. I agree with you, too, and look forward to what God unfolds. The time has come for the Church to reflect God’s heart and open arms in a more relevant way, while holding unswervingly to the truth which glorifies God and sets people free to love him in the way they were created to.

    • Katie says:

      Laura,
      Thank you so much for your comment! I’m happy to know that this post was helpful to you, thankful for your continued support and your vision for the future. Now more than ever, as Christians, we need to stand together, trusting God and loving one another. I hope you’ll join us in praying that others will see the way God is moving in this time, in this country and in the church!

  4. Don S. Brown says:

    Wow! What great children I am blessed to have! All five of them ! I am for the most part kind of quiet about things. I do have to say Katie and Kristin are right. Exodus has been our family. From 1976 when Frank Worthan wrote to me encouraging me to hang there til now Exodus has always been there. The conferences have been the best always. Only our Father could do such things. I am so grateful to Him for allowing me to be a part. And thanks be to the leaders who held it together all these years to the benefit of thousands. I am excited to see what’s next. I trust people like Alan and Leslie, Randy, and Tony to lead us on!!

  5. Thank you ladies, and Don, for bringing me into relationship with the Exodus people. I am SO happy I made it to the last Exodus conference and had that, literally, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was very moving to see the love and hearts connected by decades of standing in this very special place in the Kingdom together.

    I look forward to what we can do in Austin together.

    And yes, I am still resting as well because getting home was a beast and I know yall had the same travel luck! šŸ™‚

    • Katie says:

      Christy- It was a blast getting to know you better, and we also look forward to working together more in the future. First things first- we so need to have some kind of girls night and laugh at Kristin’s inappropriate laughing in general sessions!

  6. I love you girls. It is the two of you and many others from your generation that I believe the Lord has asked me to listen to and consider. Soon, and even now, it is both of you and your generation that is leading us. I trust you and thank you for your partnership in the last season of Exodus and this future endeavor!

    • Katie says:

      We love you too Alan! Thank you for giving us a place where we feel like we have a voice, after years and years of feeling like there was no where our voice and what we believed fit. I love the visionary that you are and we’re SO excited about what’s to come and what God is going to do with all of us!

  7. secretsbeyondthetrapdoor says:

    thank you for sharing.

  8. Deon says:

    Exodus and Metanoia held my hand back in the 80’s as I sought for support and understanding. I needed them and they were there. BLESSINGS to all the good work that they’ve done for so many.

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