同光同志長老教會是支持關懷性少數及其他弱勢社群的教會

 

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2016.09.23.同志牧養與教育的未來

同志牧養與教育的未來

The Future of Pastoring and Education

黃國堯牧師

(同光同志長老教會)

Rev. Silas Wong

(Tong-Kwang Light House Presbyterian Church)


同光教會二十週年,曾走過了艱苦的路程,從無變為有;由楊雅惠牧師起始建立,後經教會畢業於台灣神學院的曾恕敏牧師任牧者,之後便約有七至八年沒有駐堂牧者。到了2014年4月,便由我從香港來同光承接前人的牧養工作。之前我在香港基恩之家服事,他們在起始十多年都沒有駐堂牧師(香港稱作主任牧師),直至後來請了一位女牧師Selina任牧者三至四年,便由我去接任。從兩間同志教會的服事體驗中,我深深認識到這是很大的挑戰,因為同志信徒是優秀與野性的結合,就如男女合於一身一樣。另外,同志在打壓受傷中需時休息痊癒,故也不宜一下子對他們要求太甚。那麼,到底什麼的牧養模式才適合他們?又未來同志教會應走如何的路線才能與時代並進?

Tong-Kwang has been through a tough journey over the past two decades: from its establishment by Rev. Yahui Yang, with the succession of Rev. Elias Tseng, through the period of 7-8 years without pastors, to my ministering starting in April 2014.  Blessed Minority Christian Fellowship (BMCF) , the church which I ministered in Hong Kong, also had been through a period of over a decade without its own pastors.  There was the ministering of Rev. Selina in 3-4 years prior to my serving there.  I realized how big the challenge is to serve LGBT churches because LGBT Christians are a combination of excellence and wildness, just as a combination of masculinity and femininity.  Moreover, LGBT people need to recover from oppression and it is not adequate to push them too much.  What then is the best pastoring pattern for them? And how will LGBT churches thrive with time?


一、牧養的模式Pattern of pastoring


1. 關懷與輔導的結合Integration of caring and counseling

同志信徒的情緒一般起伏較大,又或壓抑情緒的情況較嚴重。因此,在人際相處上,往往容易發生衝突和誤解。教會在關懷方面,要往個人關懷和輔導方向作系統的引導。在屬靈的指導上,我們有屬靈導引(spiritual direction),目的是引領信徒如何走在屬靈的操練和學習上。在情緒和個人的成長上,個人輔導或內在醫治(inner healing)可較有效疏導信徒的情緒,並且以更合乎聖經的方式而非人文科學的輔導作基礎,使我們的靈命與情緒結合成為更有效的控制,令我們的人格更為成熟。

LGBT Christians generally have more emotionality and/or repression.  As a result, interpersonal conflicts and misunderstanding are common.  The church needs to address these issues of caring and counseling systematically.  Our parishioners need spiritual direction in their practicing and learning.  Personal counseling or inner healing are also needed to soothe their emotions, which is based more on biblical teachings than on humanistic disciplines, to achieve more integrated spirituality and emotionality that goes to more mature personality. 


2. 社交與聖言的結合Integration of sociality and Word of God

同志信徒到教會不單為要尋找上帝的同在,也在尋求友愛或伴侶的冀望。為此,教會雖不能像一般同志的社交圈子,充斥著各樣的社交活動如派對等;而是以上帝的聖言作基礎,再配合交誼的社交活動如聚餐或電影放映等,令大家感覺受照顧。這就如在教會小組現時呈現的一般現象,以查經或屬靈書籍閱讀為經,以交誼或社交活動為緯。但重點是如何配答得合宜,而不會本末倒置,令教會或小組變成只淪為社交中心。

LGBT parishioners come to church to seek not only God but also friends and partners.  The church ought not to be like other LGBT social scenes that are filled with partying, but to tend people with social activities such as dining or movies that would be combined with the Word of God as foundation. Now our cell groups offer Bible study/book reading as well as social activities.  But the point is balancing, so that the church or cell group does not become just a social scene.


3. 同志與其他的結合Integration of gay/lesbian people and other people

現時一般同志教會都偏重同志的牧養,卻容易忽略了跨性者和其他性少數或異性戀的牧養。若果我們用inclusive作為理解這樣的模式,我認為是順其自然地走向這方向。舉例說,同光教會有肢體的家長因其子女而到來,又或肢體帶來子女參加聚會,我們自然要考慮如何把異性戀者或兒童安放在我們的聚會中,如家長可安排參加伴侶小組,兒童則設立主日學以給與聖經教導等。而我認為跨性別者是其中一群我們要自然也具策略性去接觸的人,盼望LGBT的每類人都被接觸及關懷所及。另外,我們可藉同志平權活動和社會公義活動來與社會各階層人士接觸,讓人認識同志教會的面相,叫更多人可以進入我們的教會。

Usually gay/lesbian churches focus on the pastoring of gay/lesbian people and ignore the pastoring of transgendered and other minorities and even heterosexual people.  This is an issue to be addressed if our church is to be truly inclusive.  For instance, as we have parents and/or children of gays and lesbians now, we need to incorporate them into our services and meetings.  Parents can attend Cell Group for Partners, and children can attend Sunday school, respectively.  I think we need to approach transgendered people strategically and I hope every minority among LGBT people can be attended.  Meanwhile, we can reach out to more people in the larger society through campaigns and justice actions to increase knowledge of and participation in our church.

 

二. 教育的模式Pattern of education


1. 傳統的查經與課程Traditional Bible study and courses

現時同光教會並沒有主日學的聖經教育課程,而是以信仰神學課程安排在每個教會小組中進行。這樣的優點是能化整為零地穿插在已有的小組活動中,並能接觸較多的群眾。加上同光教會除了洗禮前的慕道班外,也沒有初信栽培或其他的培訓班,這是目前較有效的教育模式。長遠來說,我們應設立不同階段的栽培課程,以致可以按部就班地培養肢體信仰的基礎。另外,各小組的查經班可以更有系統的安排,以致能成為類似主日學的模式,可以更有效地增強肢體的聖經基礎。

Right now Tong-Kwang does not have Sunday school-based Bible study, but has faith and theology courses provided in cell groups, so that they are integrated into cell groups and reach more people.  Meanwhile, this is a more efficient way of faith education since we do not have other courses for faith beginners than pre-baptism confession studies. Furthermore, Bible study can be arranged and integrated into cell groups in a more systematic way, resembling Sunday school, to consolidate biblical knowledge in cell group members. 


2. 領袖的培訓與計劃Training and preparing of leadership

同志教會需要的領袖訓練是重要項目之一。可是,我們的師資來源及安排卻嫌不足。我們只能依賴駐堂牧師的有限提供訓練,又或個別成熟肢體的教導,但久而久之,亦沒有受到太大的重視。另外,現實上的情況是,信徒受到工作時間和情緒支配的關係,亦不容易抽空參加教會安排的領袖訓練。現時,有少數肢體參加了外間的晚間神學課程,他們對聖經及神學比較有認識,但這並不代表他們可以去教導其他領袖,他們只可在小組或其他的領域作出影響和貢獻。因此,能夠爭取外間神學院接納同志信徒及鼓勵信徒往外尋求造就,這是未來可行的方向之一。這也有賴於我們與外間神學院之間的溝通或築橋的情況而定。

Leadership training is important for LGBT churches.  But we lack sufficient resources and teachers, so we can only rely on the pastor and individual senior members for training, which is limited and underappreciated.  In fact our parishioners are often affected by jobs and emotions and cannot attend leadership training.  Right now, a few parishioners attend extracurricular theological courses.  They have more knowledge of the Bible and theology and can contribute more to cell groups, but this does not mean they can train other leaders.  Therefore it is an option that we seek cooperation with other theological seminaries, which in turn depends on our communication and liaison. 


3. 神學的教育與展望Theological education and prospects

現時,一般宗派或個別堂會都可辦神學院,但同志教會或宗派卻鮮有神學院的設立,究其原因,乃是與教育人材及資金的資源不足有關。現時,可能有不同地區的同志教會有定期的講座或培訓課程,如激揚會議中的專題講座。但這畢竟不是長遠而有效的裝備方式。我相信要集各地的師資及人力物力來開設同志神學院,這條路線才是長遠之計。當然,外間神學院能接受同志神學生是我們期待的,但他們的訓練是否一定符合同志教會的需要,這是我們要深思的。舉例說,酷兒神學或對同志經文或神學的理解,在一般神學院的課程上未必有好的安排。所以,本地的同志神學院是能夠使有志的同志信徒得著裝備,對牧養同志教會定然有很大的幫助。另外,國際性的神學院也可成為跨越地域的訓練場所,適合有志於更廣闊視野的肢體報讀。至於師資方面,則要收攬各個有質素的同志牧者或肢體,再加上友善同志的牧者或教授的協助,這樣才能把同志神學院建立起來。

Common denominations and churches usually have their own theological seminaries, but LGBT churches do not.  This is because LGBT churches have limited resources and manpower.  Nowadays different LGBT churches hold seminars and give courses, such as the Amplify Conference.  But these are not efficient ways of training in the long term.  I believe we ought to incorporate all available resources to set up an LGBT theological seminary, which is the enduring way.  Although we would like the other theological seminaries to accept LGBT students, these seminaries might not actually provide the training that LGBT churches need.  For instance, common theological seminaries might not provide syllabus in queer theology and biblical hermeneutics related to clobber texts.  Therefore, a local LGBT theological seminary will help a lot in equipping LGBT students to serve LGBT churches.  Also international theological seminaries can provide a broader vision for students.  The faculty and staff of the LGBT theological seminary must include well-educated LGBT people and LGBT-friendly pastors and professors.

同志教會與一般傳統教會在形態上應沒有太大分別,只是對性傾向或性別認知有所不同。當然,在牧養上對兒童的照顧稍為不一樣,因為畢竟同志信徒擁有孩子的機會相對較少,因為以捐精懷孕或收養孩童等的情況還未算普及。至於其餘各項事工的發展則大同小異;無論對傳福音、栽培、崇拜等各樣事工,我看不見有何分別。然同志信徒的音樂和創作力非凡,這方面可能比一般教會有過之而無不及。故此,同志教會應該善用這些具才華的肢體,為他們建立創作小組,以能夠培育更多這樣具藝術才華的信徒,以支援教會各樣事工。

LGBT churches and other churches are not so different from one another except in the perception of sexuality.  Surely one difference is in child/adolescent ministry because LGBT people usually do not have children and artificial inseminations and adoptions are still uncommon.  But the rest of ministries are basically the same, including preaching the gospel, training, and worshiping.  However, LGBT people have extraordinary gifts in music and art creativity that other churches have not.  Therefore, LGBT churches should utilize these gifted people to form groups for creative work in support of church ministries. 


我個人當然期望同志教會不是在孤軍作戰或孤芳自賞,而是得到更多不同宗派的認同。但在未獲垂青前,我們只能作好本份,就是把各樣的教會事工按照我們的能力,靠著主的恩典,以我們的方式穩步前行。但願主賜福性少數社群教會的未來發展,叫上帝的心意能夠我們身上成全!

I certainly hope LGBT churches do not stand alone or fight alone, but receive recognition from various denominations.  But before that, we must do our jobs well, in accordance with the gifts that the gracious Lord give us and in a steady pace.  May the Lord bless all LGBT churches with a brighter future to fulfill God’s will!