The Courage ministry, which officially began in February 1988—was an initiative that I (Jeremy Marks) began, originally founded under the auspices of the New Life Church, Harrow, UK. After almost 25 years, “Courage”, as a ministry entity will finish in September 2012.
Starting life as an ‘ex-gay’ ministry, Courage infamously went through a metamorphosis at the turn of the Millennium to become a fully affirming ministry for gay Christian people, refuting the ex-gay proposition. The charitable Trust (The Courage Trust as it was called) was wound up and I continued the work on a charitable basis, with support coming via another charity that supports full-time Christian workers.
August 2012, marks exactly 25 years since I left my former career and began working in this area of ministry. For several years now, I have felt that there must come a time when I could be released from this work, which has continued to grow and grow over the years. After much prayer, I came to the conclusion that 25 years should mark the time to finish the work in its present form. You can read more about the thinking process and future plans in “The Times They Are A’Changin”
You can also read a brief history of Courage
SO WHERE NOW?
Since making this decision, it has become increasingly clear that my pastoral role, which has occupied so much of my time for many years, is likely to continue; it is a natural part of who I am. I am now linked to a huge number of people, who I have endeavoured to provide support for over the last 25 years. That experience cannot be replaced overnight. New enquiries keep pouring in every week, and at present there is no other resource of pastoral support like this available. However, the running of an office, organising regular meetings, retreats twice-yearly and many other events are tasks that I need to be able to relinquish, either to someone else, or more likely a group of other people. Currently a dedicated small group is working on the possibility of starting a “Courage Two” for the future. They might, however, develop some completely new initiatives altogether, bearing in mind that the first Courage was founded on a 1980's ministry model, and there have been huge changes in thinking and approach over a quarter of a century!
This blog has been set up to allow me to keep in touch with anyone who is interested, create a forum in which to make new articles and news available, providing kind of Front Page for my ongoing work as it develops.
Please feel free to use this blog as a means of keeping in touch.