I dedicate this simple volume to the following people:

- to my wife, Carol, who has accompanied me on this journey of faith;

- to my lesbian and gay Christian friends, in particular those of the Essex Group of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement;

- to those Christian friends, including several members of the Church Council from the church where we worship, who with open minds and hearts have listened, thought and prayed, then shared with our lesbian and gay friends;

- to the many people who have contributed to my thinking through the written and spoken word;

- not least to Dougie, the gay man who was courageous enough to come and share something of his life with our Methodist circuit study group, and whose contribution was so vital in helping us to further our understanding;

- finally, and most of all, to our Lord, who called and patiently led me through fear and apprehension to a ministry of love and support for a group of people who are often, like him, despised and rejected.

This book is written in the hope that what I have learned may help towards to the day when fear, ignorance and incorrect assumptions will no longer influence the Church to keep many lesbian and gay Christians at arm's length. They have much to give, and much that they desire to give, and are deeply hurt at the rejection they so often suffer.

As you read, pray! Pray with compassion that God will help you stand in their shoes as Christ stood in ours - to sense what it means to be homosexual, and how much this simple difference affects their lives. Pray that you will read your Bible with an open mind and heart on this matter, and allow the Lord of love and truth to lead you, if necessary, to think what may be for you the unthinkable - the new truth God wants to give you, as he did to Peter in Acts 10.

May God bless you on your pilgrimage of faith, as he has blessed me on mine!

George Hopper

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