With our Partner Spotlights, we get to highlight how God is at work in this city and all over the world through the partners we support!
Steve and Carol Rugg work with the Navigators here in Colorado Springs, and have been part of our church family for many years. Currently, Steve gives oversight to critical support functions of The Navigators and Carol is the Director of Women’s Initiatives for the Collegiate Navigators and co-leads the Sexual Health and Wholeness (SHAW) Initiative for the US Navigators.
Here’s a behind the scenes glimpse of Carol’s role as a Sexual Health and Wholeness leader…
What does it look like to lead the Sexual Health and Wholeness (SHAW) Initiative for Navs, particularly with the emphasis on gender identity and sexuality?
I am in a unique position as I lead the SHAW team. There are 20-25 staff that I would call practitioners in this area of Sexual Health and Wholeness. I am not one of these practitioners, but I lead this initiative from an organizational leadership perspective. I work with raising funds for this initiative, networking with our National Leadership team so that we have approval and permission to promote our resources with our staff, consult with our website designers, help make our gifted resource creators aware of what resources need to be created, work with getting these resources copyrighted, coordinate with our growing community of practitioners while I line up ongoing development and speakers for this community, and lead our leadership team and SHAW Advisory Council.
From what we can tell, The Navigators have been pace-setting in this area ahead of many Christian organizations, but because of the delicate nature of this topic, we have decided as an organization that at this point we need to be very cautious how we share our work with others.
I would say that almost every staff person has a story of someone that they are ministering to that is involved in the LGBT+ movement. For years we have desired to provide these staff with the best resources so that they can be equipped to minister in these arenas.
Finally in the last year, we have been given permission to begin to promote these resources to all of our staff. I have spent much of my time over the last 6 months presenting these resources to all of our missional leadership teams so that our staff can be better equipped.
It has been so encouraging to see the overwhelmingly grateful response from our staff leaders. This is truly the work of the Lord to provide all of this for our staff!
What are you excited about in your work right now?
Our team is working on a paper called “A Pastoral Conversation on Transgender.” This title that centers around the word “conversation” means that it is not a paper with many conclusions, but rather one that opens the conversation. We clearly want to communicate that we are still learning and growing in our understanding on this topic.
After 11 years of leading the Sexual Health and Wholeness initiative, I will be passing the baton to a new leader, who will report to me in my new role as the Develop Team leader. This transition of leadership will take place over the next year, and is very exciting since we have been looking for a new leader for about 3-4 years!
Are there any ways our Pulpit Rock family can come around you to support you in what you’re doing?
It would be a blessing if you could pray for us. The enemy has such a stronghold in this area in our culture and we always need the Lord’s protection from his attacks. Please pray for our health, wisdom, and our ability to communicate in a loving, grace-filled, truthful, biblically-based perspective.
Pray that we can find a way to deeply minister to our LGBT+ friends so that they would be drawn to Jesus and into His Kingdom.
If you’d like to learn more about the partners we support and ways you can get involved, check out our Sent page!