The latest messages, interviews, and updates from Forefront Church based in Brooklyn, NY, but accessible from anywhere. Learn more at www.forefrontnyc.com.
Forefront Church is a fully inclusive, affirming-of-everyone-community based on the deeds of Christ not the religion and bureaucracy that followed. Our vision is to build a just and generous expression of the Christian faith. We are more interested in good questions than good answers.
Forefront Conversations with Candice Czubernat
Candice's story of love and discovery sounds a lot like the story many of us have either heard or lived before: a teenage crush, a nervous first kiss, and a new sense of a world of possibilities opening up before her. Unfortunately, her story of love and discovery also contains a few other elements that sound a lot like those that many of us have either heard or lived before: confusion about her lesbian feelings, church leaders commanding her to change her identity, and entering into a heterosexual relationship to perpetuate denial. In short, she went through what so many LQBTQI people go through in evangelical churches: trauma. Candice eventually came to embrace and love who she is and found a church that did the same, which equipped her to establish The Christian Closet, a fully LGBTQ team of counselors and coaches who provide virtual mental and spiritual health services for Christians who are on the journey of realizing that they are LQBTQI. As they say on their website, "God loves you as you are, period. And yet we also know how hard it is to believe that when so many people say otherwise."
Candice Czubernat is a therapist and founder of The Christian Closet, an LGBTQ affirming counseling, coaching and spiritual direction organization. She is also the founder of Gloriously Queer a conference for LGBTQ people of faith developed by LGBTQ people of faith. As a therapist she sees LGBTQ individuals and couples worldwide as they navigate the many experiences of what it is to be a queer person in this world. Candice offers consulting services to pastors and clergy who are beginning the transitional process of being LGBTQ affirming places of worship.
For more information on The Christian Closet, visit https://www.thechristiancloset.com/
THE GOSPEL OF: "Inclusion"
Mira Sawlani-Joyner, guest preacher and former Community Director at Forefront Brooklyn, shares her personal experiences as an Asian woman. Inspired by the story of Rahab, Mira shows us how Asian women have divine purpose in this world, partnering with and co-laboring with God to bring God's kin-dom to fruition.
Unfortunately, Asian women are hyper sexualized by the media and popular culture, and are relegated to tropes and stereotypes that render them as submissive and docile. These stereotypes lead to their treatment as second class citizens and stand in the way of us seeing Asian women as image bearers reflecting the diverse qualities of God.
This is a powerful, heartfelt sermon that challenges our views towards Asian Americans and helps us take a step closer to a society that accepts, values and respects all.
EASTER SUNDAY 2021 | "New Birth"
The resurrection story is not a neat and tidy formula to get us into heaven. It is a wild and imaginative story that asks us to take big risks for others and to work with God to bring about new creation.
Jonathan Williams shares that If what we see in Jesus is God's own self, revealed, then we are dealing with a God who is ridiculously indiscriminate about choosing friends, who would rather die than have a neat and tidy sin management system complete with a scorecard, who would not lift a finger to condemn those who crucified him - A God unafraid to get God's hands dirty for the ones God loves. The resurrection of Jesus Christ did not happen so that your soul would be saved from hell and your sins forgiven, rather so that you would open your eyes to the unexpected and radical love that God has for God's creation.
THIS FEELING'S GOT ME LIKE | "Hope"
Most often, our hope is naïve and optimistic, and we’re wishing for a successful outcome.
On this Palm Sunday, Jonathan Williams shares that’s not really what hope is -- it’s what comes when all else fails. The hope that comes when all else feels hopeless -- apocalyptic hope -- shows that the apocalypse isn't an ending, it's a revelation. What can feel like failure or pain can actually be the beginning of hope.
This is the sixth and final sermon in our “This Feeling's Got Me Like...” series.
THIS FEELING'S GOT ME LIKE | "Fear"
The opposite of fear is saying yes to living fully.
The future is unknown. That scares the crap out of us. What do we do in the face of the unknown?
Jonathan Williams shares that the way forward is not fear, it’s faith. Faith is a choice to take action and move forward even when there is nothing guaranteed. To make the conscious choice to believe just for today that the great I AM is at work in our fears and in our unknowns. The opposite of fear is saying yes to being made in the image of God, of living fully alive, warts and all.
This is the fifth and final sermon in our “This Feeling's Got Me Like...” series.
THIS FEELING'S GOT ME LIKE | "Lonely"
Lonely in the wilderness.
The pandemic of loneliness existed long before COVID-19, and being lonely can make us feel like we’re lost in the wilderness.
In this Sunday’s message, guest preacher and former Forefront Brooklyn associate pastor Jennifer Fisher of Launchpad Partners tells us that the wilderness can be the place where we come to know God the strongest, and can actually be a place of hope for us to grow deeper in relationship with God, each other, and creation.
This is the fourth sermon in our “This Feeling's Got Me Like...” series.
Launchpad Partners is committed to impacting the world through launching new, inclusive faith communities. Born out of the W/ Collective network of churches, they offer networking opportunities and events with fellow leaders, one-on-one coaching for faith entrepreneurs, and a content library of resources for those launching in a progressive, inclusive context.