Issues of gender identity, sexual attraction, orientation, and practice are among some of the complex and emotionally charged facing the North American Church today. One recent example of the intensity and importance of these issues was evidenced most recently by the letter of apology issued by Alan Chambers of Exodus International to the LGBTQ community and the subsequent closing of this organization.
Varying perspectives on these issues have contributed to the splintering of denominations, divisions in local churches, and no shortage of virtual conversations laden with confusion, anger, and grief. For the sake of the faithful and effective witness of the Body of Christ in the world, it is vital that we pay close attention not only to the content of our discourse, but the character of it as well.
In this workshop, David Fitch and Deb Hirsch seek to offer theological perspectives and practical suggestions for what it might mean to engage these conversations and cultivate relational contexts in ways that can help us move beyond the polarizations and abstract judgments that often mark and mis-shape our engagement of LGBTQ peoples and conversations.
Gospel witness in North American culture has been hindered (even foreclosed) by much of what the Church has done and said in relation to alternative sexualities. This seminar will discuss the things we should not do, the posture we must inhabit, and the necessary pathways we can “be open to” so that God’s Kingdom can break in among “us” in this space of presence with LGBTQ friends. We will discuss the theological and practical issues of being among and with LGBTQ peoples.
The audio download of this workshop is available here and is available for free all day today, 6/24/13 (discount automatically applied when you add the workshop to your cart).
With this workshop as a backdrop, we hope to cultivate a constructive, civil, and helpful conversation around this issue in the coming week in the comment thread of this post.