Safe Exit Summit a Place for Parents to Find Peace, Restoration and Resources

Safe Exit Summit a Place for Parents to Find Peace, Restoration and Resources

Weekend Conference in Washington, D.C., Helps Parents Support Loved Ones Struggling with Sexual Identity Issues

SEPTEMBER: EX-GAY AWARENESS MONTH

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2015
CONTACT:
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com

 

RICHMOND, Va.—When sons or daughters reveal they are homosexual or struggling with same-sex attractions or gender identity issues, it can be a shock to parents. But there are resources available that can make a world of difference. Regina Griggs knows this well, as she was once one of those parents.

Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX, www.pfox.org), the nation’s leading advocacy organization that offers love and support to families and friends of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion, will be one of the many expert speakers at this weekend’s Safe Exit Summit in Washington—an event designed to help navigate some of these complicated challenges.

The third annual conference, following September’s Ex-Gay Awareness Month, will aim to encourage, educate and edify parents, church leaders, family members and friends, as well as those struggling with gender confusion and unwanted same-sex attraction.

“When our children, whether in adolescence or adulthood, struggle with homosexuality or other sexual or gender issues, it can be alarming to parents at first,” Griggs said. “They don’t know where to turn, if their relationships with their kids will ever be the same, or what the future holds. But rather than hide or retreat, parents must know that there is help available, and that change is possible. At the Safe Exit Summit, our passionate speakers are proof, and as they share their stories, parents will see they are not on this journey alone and that they will be stronger on the other side with the support and prayers of people just like them.”

Registration is open for the two-day conference on Oct. 2-3 at www.safeexitsummit.org, and an inspiring lineup of speakers will offer hope and resources, answer questions and share their own stories. A promo code of SAFECHURCH2015 gives pastors and church leaders a special rate of $99 for Safe Exit Summit.

Friday, Oct. 2 will feature a legislator education day on Capitol Hill for those who support ex-gays and individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, as well as a time of praise with musician Dennis Jernigan and the viewing of the documentary “Such Were Some of You,” produced by Safe Exit Summit speaker Dr. David Kyle Foster. Oct. 3 features the full lineup of speakers, along with breakout sessions, a luncheon, a panel discussion and the presentation of the Friends of Ex-Gays Freedom Award to attorney Charles LiMandri, who defended the counseling group JONAH this summer.

Those traveling to the Washington, D.C., area for the Safe Exit Summit will be connected with the host hotel upon registration. The hotel—close to the conference site—is offering attendees a discounted rate, a free breakfast and other amenities. Registration for the two-day event is still open, and co-hosting with PFOX is Voice of the Voiceless and Equality And Justice For All.

Serving as the keynote speaker for the Safe Exit Summit will be Dr. Michael Brown, one of the most respected conservative voices in America and author of the new book, “Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Eight Principles for Long-term Cultural Change.”

Brown is widely considered to be the world’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist. Since coming to faith in 1971 as a 16-year-old, heroin-shooting Jewish rock drummer, he has devoted his life to fostering awakening in the Church, sparking moral and cultural revolution in society, raising up gospel laborers for the nations and reaching out to his own Jewish people.

He is the host of the nationally syndicated “Line of Fire” radio program (Brown will broadcast live from the Safe Exit Summit on Oct. 2) and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry and a professor of Bible and Hebrew Studies at several leading seminaries. Brown has preached in more than 25 nations and is the author of 25 books and numerous scholarly and popular articles. He has debated Jewish rabbis, agnostic professors and gay activists on radio, TV and college campuses. Read more at askdrbrown.org or view his columns for The Christian Post.

Several other top-name speakers will also be featured at the Safe Exit Summit:

  • Charles LiMandri is President and Chief Counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund and recently defended the New Jersey-based counseling group JONAH in court. He is double board certified in pre-trial litigation and trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He specializes in religious liberty issues.
  • Rev. Stephen Black has worked in pastoral-care ministry as an ordained minister and with International Ministerial Fellowship for over 25 years with First Stone Ministries. He teaches in the local church, serves in one-on-one pastoral care discipleship and weekly support group sessions, and helps to provide freedom conferences and seminars.
  • Dennis Jernigan, who will lead a special time of worship at the conference, is known primarily for his worship music, and his songs have been sung widely by the Body of Christ since the early 1990s. He has written hundreds of songs and authored many devotional and self-help books, fantasy novels and children’s stories. He shares his story of leaving a homosexual identity through his music and is convinced that with God, nothing is impossible.
  • Christopher Doyle is a licensed professional psychotherapist and co-founder of Voice of the Voiceless. He is also the Director of the International Healing Foundation, a non-profit organization that since 1990 has helped thousands of individuals and families struggling with sexual orientation. As a published author and expert in adolescent sexual health, as well as a former homosexual, Doyle has spoken to international audiences and had his work published in numerous outlets.
  • Denise Shick’s father identified as a transgender woman, which greatly impacted her childhood and adolescent years. Later, her life was transformed through her faith. On his death bed, Shick’s father said his transgender lifestyle didn’t provide the fulfillment he sought. Shick founded Help4Families.org, a ministry for those affected by gender confusion of a loved one, and her story is featured on the PFOX web site.
  • Melissa Ingraham is a licensed mental health counselor in New York who works with women on depression, anxiety, confusion, gender identity and unwanted same-sex attraction issues. She also previously identified as a lesbian and is the wife of ex-gay ministry leader Garry Ingraham. Ingraham’s story is featured on the PFOX web site.
  • Rich Wyler is the founder and director of People Can Change, a nonprofit, peer-led support and educational organization of men who seek to resolve, diminish or make peace with their unwanted same-sex attractions. He is also the founder and co-creator of the life-changing “Journey Into Manhood” experiential personal growth program and has compiled the book, “Then & Now: How My Sexual Attractions Have Changed.”
  • Dr. David Kyle Foster struggled with pornography and other sexually addictive behaviors before his salvation in 1980. He is the author of “Love Hunger: A Harrowing Journey from Sexual Addiction to True Fulfillment,” has served as an adjunct professor at several schools, has spoken on five continents, and has appeared on “The 700 Club,” “The Dr. Phil Show” and “The Coral Ridge Hour,” among others. Foster founded Mastering Life Ministries in 1987 and is also the producer and host of “Pure Passion,” a TV outreach to equip the church to minister to those who are trapped in sexual sin and brokenness.
  • David Pickup is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California with extensive background in talk therapy. He serves as president of the International Institute for Reorientation Therapies and is on the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). After being sexually abused at a young age, Pickup experienced same-sex attractions that lasted throughout much of his life. He later participated in authentic reparative therapy that he says helped saved his life.
  • Jayson Graves is a Christian psychotherapist specializing in sexual addictions recovery and unwanted attractions. His experience comes from working with youth, in community mental health and men’s ministry, and he has also worked with couples, individuals, young adults and teens in private practice. Graves is the founder and director of the international telephone counseling ministry, Healing for the Soul.
  • Ben Spratling was once exclusively attracted to other men. Raised Southern Baptist, he was confused by what he was taught in church about his feelings. But he pursued change, a journey that took 11 years. Today, he’s committed to the Recently Straight project—a web-based TV show reenacting the stories of men who have changed from gay to straight.

For information on speakers, visit www.SafeExitSummit.org/speakers.

According to Griggs, research, along with the personal experiences of ex-gays like those featured at the Safe Exit Summit, has shown that homosexuality is not innate and that change is possible. Visitors to www.pfox.org can also listen to personal stories of ex-gays who share about their lives and their decision to change.

Griggs added that thousands of men and women with unwanted same sex attractions and gender confusion make the personal decision to leave their homosexual lifestyle and identity, and seek support and help from churches in their journey. Churches interested in finding out more about Safe Exit, a program that offers resources and expert speakers to help them open their doors to the ex-gay community and those struggling with same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion, can visit www.pfox.org/safe-exit/.

PFOX is a national non-profit organization that supports families and educates the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX supports an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals by conducting public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.

PFOX believes that every person seeking positive life change needs the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church, and strives to offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for ex-gays to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction. PFOX families love their homosexual children unconditionally, believing that unconditional love between them and their child is based on treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to seek help in overcoming a homosexual identity through gender-affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith-based ministries and other non-judgmental environments.

For more information on PFOX, visit its web site at www.PFOX.org, its Facebook page, its Twitter feed @PFOX4U or email info@pfox.org.

 

 

 

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization with a mission to support families and educate the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX is committed to supporting parents and friends of homosexuals who want help, hope and community, and exists to provide education and resources. PFOX works toward understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.

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To interview a representative from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak at 610-584-1096, ext. 100, or at media@hamiltonstrategies.com.

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