Emmaus Supports the Surprise LGBTQ+ & Allies Club

a multi-generational group working to build a visible and supportive community for LGBTQ+ youth, adults, parents, and allies in Surprise.

Club Meetings

Established as an official club in the Marley Park neighborhood of Surprise, Arizona, The Surprise LGBTQ+ & Allies Club meets on the Third Wednesdays of each month at the Marley Park Heritage Club.

All are invited to join in our work to promote inclusion of our LGBTQ+ community members and help us to build a safe space where adults, teens, and children alike are free to be themselves.
Unless otherwise noted, all events are held: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Marley Park Heritage Clubhouse, 13243 N Founders Park Blvd., Surprise
Sunday, April 8: Phoenix Pride Parade
Join us as we march in the Phoenix Pride Parade! Participants much pre-register. To register, please email us!

Those under 18 attending without their own parent or legal guardian must have a completed permission slip signed by their own parent or legal guardian. A PDF copy of the permission slip, and a note of information for parents is available for download by clicking here.
Wednesday, April 18: Are You Tired of Being told what the Bible Says About Sexuality and Gender?
Come and learn from the Rev. Emilie Finn, M.Div., Berkley Divinity School at Yale as she guides participants through a discussion of what the Bible actually says about sexuality and gender. This month Emilie will don her scholarly hat, giving participants the detailed information needed to understand others' impressions of what the Bible says so that, when we are faced with questions or abruptly judged, we will have the knowledge to respond intelligently.

The Club's Beginnings

Early in 2016, a small group of Emmaus' High School-aged members sat down with Youth Pastor Deb to discuss direction for the 2016 programming year. Literally writing their thoughts on the table, this small think tank set forth a number of topics they wished to study and learn more about. Initially presented as, "What does the Bible say about homosexuality?" one topic stood out as among their top priorities. An expanded group returned the following week and further defined the challenges and objectives.

The students, many of whom openly admitted to questioning their sexuality, shared that whether for their personal selves, or on behalf of friends or family members, they had a deep desire to learn not only what the Bible had to say about homosexuality, they also wished to understand where Scripture fell on the topic of Gender & Sexuality on a more broad level. Furthermore, the group explained that many of their friends attend Surprise's more conservative churches, and that these friends often asked their advice about whether or not it is safe to come out to family, at school, or in church. The group asked for a better understanding not only of what we believe, but to better understand the views of other worshiping congregations and organizations in our community.

As the study commenced, students from area high school Pride Alliance Clubs joined the conversation, stand-alone LGBT groups were located in the Sun Cities, open and affirming congregations and advocates doing valuable pro-LGBT work in and around our community lent their voices to the discussions. Educators began asking for resources for parents of questioning teens. Students expressed a desire to connect with an older generation of mentors. The need for connection between fragmented group and a venue for public education became apparent.

From these discussions that the club was born. Pastor Emilie & Deb, both residents of Surprise's Marley Park Community, committed personally to organizing a space for networking, sharing, and learning. The Marley Park Community Association accepted their proposal to start a community club, open to all LGBTQ+ Surprise residents and allies. The club held its first meeting - an introductory brainstorming session - in August 2016. While still functioning under the personal direction of Emilie & Deb, club leadership now includes high school student and young adult members and parents. We continue to build and invite supportive community members to join us.

Please like us on Facebook for regular updates or email SurpriseLGBTQ@gmail.com with specific questions!

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