Pastoral Care of Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families

Article excerpt

Pastoral Care of Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families

by David K. Switzer

Fortress, Minneapolis, 1999. 156 pp. $17.00. ISBN 08062954-X

SWITZER MAKES A SIGNIFICANT contribution to pastors, laypersons, and congregations that want to offer appropriate pastoral care to lesbians, gays, their families and friends. Switzer's experiences as pastoral counselor, chaplain, teacher, and scholar are evident as he explores the complexities and joys of ministry in this context.

Writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, Switzer explores topics such as the current research on the derivation of homosexuality, biblical interpretations, and the concerns of families of lesbians and gays, as well as offering specific suggestions for pastoral care specialists. Together with Switzer's earlier work, Coming out As Parents: You and Your Homosexual Child (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996), this book offers congregations and laypersons accessible, well-written, and helpful additions to the growing literature for ministry with the gay community. A significant contribution is the last chapter, written by John Thornburg, pastor of a church in Texas. …