Gay and Christian in

    First Week Report, Sunday, July 8 - Saturday, July 14, 2007

From: Steve Parelli []
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 5:25 PM
Subject: Other Sheep First Week Report in Kenya/ and Ideas to Discuss

Dear Friends of Emmanuel Kamau,

This email is going out to all those who attended this past week’s discussion groups (27 individuals)
and to those individuals that Emmanuel (Aunty Ivy) asked us to be in contact with (38 individuals).  
This second list of individuals were given to us by Emmanuel while he was staying with us in our
apartment in New York City in March of this year and are LGBT activists, or those who would have
great interest in what Other Sheep is doing here in Kenya.  The two lists are far from identical (two or
three names are on both lists, I believe).

These email names and addresses are of course confidential.  They are given here openly to
welcome dialogue between all participants by responding “reply to all.”

Our First Week in Kenya Report

Summary of Work Accomplished

  • We have conducted 7 discussion groups in our apartment with a grand total of 26 in attendance
    (as few as two or three to six per group)
  • Jose and I attended the early worship service at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and the
    11AM worship service of Nairobi Baptist Church
  • We hosted two evening phone/panning sessions in our apartment which also served as a kind
    of open-house for meeting several LGBT Kenyans
  • We socialized two evenings in town with LGBT Kenyans
  • We had individual appointments with 5 individuals

  • A straight American ally working in Kenya, friend of a teacher colleague of Jose
  • A gay MDiv American ally working in Kenya (in a non-religious capacity)
  • One of the Assistant Pastors of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church with whom we shared
    our Power Point Presentation on the Bible & Homosexuality
  • The wife of the pastor of Nairobi Baptist Church who is a clinical psychologist
  • Prof. E. N. Ngugi, Kenya Voluntary Women Rehabilitation Centre

Overview of Discussion Groups/ What was Accomplished/ What did we learn about  
our Attendees

  • Attendees were very focused on their faith and their sexual orientation, sharing their
    experiences within the faith of their choice

  • Catholics, One Muslim, Pentecostals, Baptists, Presbyterians, one Anglican
  • Stories were remarkable; a deep faith exists among Kenyans; some indicated a desire for
    LGBT worship services; some still attend their church/masque; some have left their circle
    of religious practice because of the spiritual abuse that is felt either directly or implied

  • Attendees shared their stories with one another including their faith, their discovery of their
    orientation, their families, and other aspects of their gay life within Kenyan society
  • Focused material this week:  (1)  Introduction and navigation within the 4 websites of Other
    Sheep; (2) The power point presentation on the Bible and Homosexuality:  introduction segment
    on errant use of the word Sodomy in the Old Testament (1611 KJV)
  • Ideas Discussed with each discussion group:  Introduced PFlag; not known here; we explored
    with group the value of a PFlag chapter in Nairobi
  • Invited group members (about 5 have accepted) to meet with evangelical Baptist clinical
    psychologist for an “active listening dialogue” in anticipation that Dr. Emmy would agree to the
    idea (to which she did agree to on Friday and will give us an evening next week for such a
  • Gave the following free literature to all attendees:  The book The Children Are Free; and
    literature from Soulforce:  two intro pamphlets, and the video and script “The Debate is Over.  
    The Verdict Is In.”
  • Gave out our business card with mobile phone number that can reach us here in Kenya
  • Introduced next week’s topic using The Blue Book:  What We Wish We Had Known – by the
    Presbyterian Church of Mt. Kisco, New York

Three Ideas for Further Discussion/ Input

    (1)  PFlag

  • PFlag stands for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
  • This group is made up of STRAIGT allies.  It becomes a safe place for parents who desire
    education and understanding about their gay son or daughter.  With time and growth a
    PFlag chapter while still being that haven for new parents, can become an activist force
    for the civil rights of LGBTs
  • Visit:

    (2)  An East Africa Other Sheep Chapter/ or Foundation

  • For the purpose of reaching out to LGBTs in the area of their spiritual needs by providing
    resources through the internet as well as hard copies of materials as able.
  • To explore ways of meeting the spiritual needs of LGBTs such as finding leader(s) for
    worship groups or study groups around topics relating to LGBT concerns while coupling
    those concerns with prayer, religious studies and group fellowship; findings ways of
    affirming LGBTs in their faith while accepting their orientation
  • Reaching out from Nairobi into East Africa in matters of faith and LGBT
  • Learning about MCC in Africa and exploring the possibility of MCC coming to this region
    of Africa  (MCC=Metropolitan Community Church – an  international LGBT church
  • Having participants of East Africa Other Sheep mutually train each other in the one-on-
    one presentation of the power point of the Bible and Homosexuality and begin to share
    the presentation with other LGBT Kenyans by using the tool of one’s lap-top  or computer
  • To aggressively seek to tell your LGBT stories of faith to religious leaders within the
    Christian community who are willing and able to listen
  • To create an Other Sheep East Africa website that would address the concerns of LGBT
    Christian Kenyans; to link the website with Other Sheep; to have materials in Swahili.
  • For Other Sheep Exec Dir (Steve) to return in Jan 2008 to help with an-already-formed
    and operative Other Sheep Chapter/ Foundation in working towards stated goals (such
    as these being discussed)

    (3)  A Regular Worship Service for LGBT Kenyans

  • An ecumenical weekly time of Christian fellowship with music, religious study and prayer

Your input, feed back and interest in involvement in any of these three ideas that are given here for
discussion is eagerly sought.  We urgently ask you to reply so that networking around these ideas
may begin while Jose and I are still here in Nairobi.  Thank you so much.

Our mobile phone number here in Kenya is 0721 800 774.  We are living in the Blackrose apartments
in Ya Ya Center.
Next week discussion groups will be conducted Tuesday-Thursday, mornings and evenings
(afternoons free for appointments) with the exception of Tuesday morning.  We will phone the
Tuesday morning group to see when we can reschedule with these.

Yours for East African LGBT people of faith,

Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz

Contact Information
Steve Parelli, M.Div
Executive Director
Other Sheep
2962 Decatur Ave. 5D, Bronx, NY 10458
718-360-0884 (USA)


Nairobi, Kenya, apartment complex
where Steve and Jose stayed.

    VISIT Steve and Jose!
    Visit the Other Sheep web site of  the Executive
    Director, Steve Parelli (at right in photo), and his
    partner Jose Ortiz.
Meet us
under the
acacia tree
This website was constructed in July of 2007
Visits made to this web page since August 2007
This page was archived March 2011 and is part of the Other Sheep East Africa archived pages.  
This page serves as part of
an historical record of Other Sheep in Africa from July 2007 - February 2011
For current information regarding Other Sheep in Africa,
go to
Other Sheep in Africa.