A Ministry of Make and Deepen Disciples

Embrace Webinar #15 – Pieter Valk

Becoming Churches Where Gay Christians Can Thrive in Celibacy and Mixed-Orientation Marriage

Even if churches speak carefully about sexual ethics and offer gay Christians compassionate pastoral care, gay Christians often don’t have an answer to their biggest question: How will I find family? The Church has historically offered Christian marriage between a man and a woman or singleness for the sake of the kingdom as the two paths for stewarding our sexualities. But, are those paths currently working for gay Christians? Are our churches places where gay Christians can actually thrive in either of those vocations with reasonable effort? This webinar will explore how our churches can become places where gay Christians thrive in celibacy or a mixed-orientation marriage. We will explore practical steps pastors can take to teach what the Bible has to say about celibacy and marriage, help teens and young adults discern God’s call for their life, support gay Christians as they step into celibacy or a mixed-orientation marriage, and continue to celebrate their callings.

EQUIP Presentation Slides

You can now download Pieter Valk’s Embrace slides from Webinar 15.


Family of Brothers Monastery in Nashville, TN

Founded by Valk, Family of Brothers Monastery aims to offer family to celibate men in Nashville for God’s glory.

Find out more about FBM.


Pieter established EQUIP in the summer of 2014.

EQUIP’s mission is to help churches become places where LGBT+ Christians could belong and thrive according to a traditional sexual ethic.



Marriage and Celibacy by Max Thurian

Pieter referenced this hard-to-find work as his favorite on the topic of marriage and celibacy.  The author, Max Thurian (1921-1996), was the subprior of the Taizé community, an ecumenical monastic community in France.  He was the subprior at Taizé from the time of its inception in the 1940s.

Make and Deepen Disciples has obtained permission to share a PDF of this out-of-print title. Email mdd@covchurch.org to receive a copy.


PIETER VALK (Presenter)

Pieter Valk is the director of EQUIP, a team of missionary consultants who help churches become places where LGBTQ+ people can belong and thrive according to a traditional sexual ethic. He is also a clinical mental health counselor who serves LGBT+ students at a local Christian university. Pieter is motivated by the pain and beauty of his own story and the stories of fellow gay Christians submitting their sexualities to the Lordship of Christ.

Learn more about Pieter on his website: PIeter Valk.


Michelle Sanchez is Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples for the ECC. Her dream is to foster a multiethnic movement of disciples who make disciples across all ages. Prior to this role, Michelle served as Pastor of Christian Formation and Mission at Highrock Covenant Church in the Boston area, ministered to international students in New York City with Cru, and worked as an investment banker for Goldman, Sachs & Co. Michelle earned an M.Div. and Th.M. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, an international business degree from New York University (NYU), and certification in spiritual direction from Boston College.

We Want to Hear From You

As we develop Embrace, we hope to receive feedback from diverse voices, especially with regard to existing resources or experiences which you have found to be helpful and effective. Feel free to connect with us anytime at embrace@covchurch.org.

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