Questions to ask
- Is there room for new learning and understanding of the role of scripture?
- Can we comfortably speak about sexuality and sex at our church?
- What more can we say about hospitality and welcome? What more can we do to be more welcoming?
- How are sexual orientation and gender matters of justice?
Consider opening up the conversation within your place of worship with friends you already know are asking questions like these. Start your process of engagement where you are as a congregation. Do not be concerned with large numbers —a small group of committed people can make a difference.
Why are we talking about this?
Some in your community of faith may feel that too much time has already been spent discussing gay and lesbian issues. Part of the education is helping them recognize themselves in this discussion. Think about creating space for honest dialogue. Everyone suffers when part of community is isolated and made to feel unwelcome; breaking through the silence invites truth-telling.
A central issue for our faith
You have the opportunity to demonstrate and share why this is a central faith issue. Care for our neighbors, love of all families, and refusal of isolation, hurt, oppression and marginalization—all of these are the work of justice.
Be mindful to partner with others in your local congregation and within your denomination and faith tradition to increase the tools you have and keep the conversation relevant to your community. Sharing the resolutions and directives that already support full inclusion will be fresh news to some in your church.
Educational resources, like the Circles of Sexuality, on Many Voices can help everyone see themselves as part of this journey. There are stories on this site from members of congregations like yours and from pastors whose faith has deepened as a result of boldly raising their voices.
As this educating and learning takes place, your worshipping community will be reminded that openness and inclusion are core values of Christian faith. New opportunities for inclusion of all in the life and mission of your congregation can emerge. Dialogue and discussion that are open and non-threatening present chances for deep sharing and deeper understanding.
Click here for more information and details on educating your faith community.