Laurie Gaum will talk on “The Dutch Reformed Church & LGBTI equality: from apartheid church to church for justice?” at 10h00 on Saturday 5 November

Laurie Gaum studied theology and started his ministry in a Presbyterian church in Gugulethu. He holds a BTh, MTh and MA from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town. He ministered to the only congregation of colour in the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in the Cape Town city centre – a church for freed slaves with most congregants having been forcibly removed from District Six under apartheid.

 Laurie successfully appealed a decision of the DRC to defrock him for having been in a same-sex relationship. He has consulted for Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM), mentored the Good Hope Metropolitan Community Church and has been based with the Centre for Christian Spirituality for the past ten years. The Centre was established in ‘86 under the auspices of Desmond Tutu, then Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, and focuses on contemplative spirituality and social justice under the tagline ‘Stillness & Solidarity’.               

 Laurie facilitates interdisciplinary dialogues and workshops related to spirituality, masculinities, gender equity and reconciliation and sexuality.

 He co-wrote a book of intergenerational conversations Praat verby grense with his father and his case stays instrumental in the DRC’s current leading role re. affirming sexual diversity in churches in SA.