Portola Valley talk: 'A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage'

Jeff Chu talks are part of Valley Presbyterian's Spiritual Catalysts series

Jeff Chu, a former Time magazine staffer and the author of "Does Jesus Really Love Me?: A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America," will speak at Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley five times over a period of eight days as part of the church's Spiritual Catalysts series.

Church members say that Mr. Chu's long-scheduled visit is especially timely in the wake of the mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

His scheduled talks:

● Sunday, June 19, 9:15 a.m.:"Lessons Learned as a Reporter, the Challenges of Grace and Forgiveness, Part 1."

● Sunday, June 19, 10:45 a.m.:"To See and Be Seen," Sunday Worship Services.

● Wednesday, June 22, 7 p.m.:"Intolerance, Fear and the Dignity of Humanity."

● Sunday, June 26, 9:15 a.m.:"Lessons Learned as a Reporter, the Challenges of Grace and Forgiveness, Part 2.

● Sunday, June 26, 10:45 a.m.:"Walking Together," Sunday Worship Services.

The series is open to the public. The church is at 945 Portola Road in Portola Valley.

Mr. Chu, whose grandfather was a Baptist preacher, is a Bay Area native and current contributing writer for Fast Company magazine.

According to his website, Mr. Chu wrote his book after a year spent traveling across the country "exploring, in particular, why it is that Christianity is allegedly one religion and yet its adherents differ so dramatically on sexuality."

He visited individuals, families, and congregations across the denominational spectrum, from the funeral-picketing Westboro Baptist Church to Mary Glasspool, a lesbian Episcopal bishop.

Mr. Chu has written on religion, culture, and social issues, reporting from dozens of countries on six continents. His stories have also appeared in the Conde Nast Portfolio, New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Travel + Leisure, and the South China Morning Post.

He attended high school in Miami and graduated from Princeton and the London School of Economics. Mr. Chu has served as an elder at Old First Reformed Church in Brooklyn and is board president of Level Ground, a not-for-profit that uses the arts to cultivate dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality.

To learn more about Jeff Chu, check out his website.

More information about the Valley Presbyterian Spiritual Catalyst series is on the church's website.

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