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Statement on Conversion Therapy – June 1, 2018
Journey Canada is a discipleship ministry that is focused on helping people understand their identity in light of their Christian faith. As a discipleship ministry, we do not seek to change the sexual orientation of the people who participate in our programs.
Journey Canada understands the painful legacy of conversion or reparative therapy for sexual minorities. This means that while we are firmly committed to a traditional Christian understanding of sexuality, we reject any program that promises change in sexual orientation or makes orientation change a goal. Additionally, Journey Canada does not engage in any sort of public advocacy around issues of sexuality. Our focus is entirely on supporting people's personal faith in community and in assisting individuals and the church in joyfully pursuing Jesus and His plans for them.
A critical part of what Journey seeks to provide to our participants is a safe and supportive environment where they can connect their faith to their experiences and we always regret any situation where this has not turned out to be the case. We are confident that most of the people who have been involved with our ministry over the years have felt that their experience has been worthwhile and that they have encountered Jesus' love and care for them in a way that honours their personal dignity and respects their autonomy.
What does Journey do?
Journey is a spiritually safe place where people can talk about their experiences, often things that they have never spoken about before, and receive the love of God and the support of other people. Journey courses offer small groups where people can speak openly without shame and pray together. Our purpose is not to change people, but to help them connect more deeply with their spiritual lives.
Does Journey do reparative or conversion therapy?
No. In fact, Journey does not do therapy of any kind. Our ministry is oriented to prayer.
The Canadian Psychological Association has said, “Conversion therapy, or reparative therapy, refers to any formal therapeutic attempt to change the sexual orientation of bisexual, gay and lesbian individuals to heterosexual” and Journey has been clear that sexual orientation change is neither a goal nor a likely outcome of participation in our courses. For us, pursuing a change in sexual orientation is not a worthwhile goal – we are seeking to assist people in deepening their spiritual lives.
Does Journey offer programming for youth?
Journey courses are restricted to adults.
How do you respond to people who claim that what Journey does is harmful to LGBTQ people?
The goal of Journey courses is to free people from shame, not to add to it. Often people experience shame around their sexuality because of messages they have received from their communities or the world around them. We provide a safe place where people can talk about these experiences and receive the love that comes from God.
What does Journey believe about marriage and sexuality?
Journey is committed to the traditional Christian understanding of marriage and sex. This means that we see marriage as a lifetime commitment between one man and one woman and believe that God intends sex exclusively for the marriage relationship.
Is Journey focused on LGBTQ issues?
As a ministry focused on spirituality, Journey works with people from all walks of life. People come to us for help in connecting more deeply with God. Very often, experiences of shame or fear of judgement prevent people from fully entering into the freedom that God wants to give each one of us. Journey gives people a confidential place to talk about these things and receive prayer. Historically, only about 5% of participants in our courses identify same-sex attraction as an area for which they want support.