Several people have expressed in person as well as in writing the sentiment that it would be a shame after last weekend’s conference with Sally Gary that we would not follow up with some way to continue the conversation.
Many of us are still in the process of reflecting on all that has been said. At the staff level we have not yet had an opportunity to thoroughly debrief our collective experience of the conference weekend or air our own thoughts about how to proceed with a church-wide discussion about same sex attraction. Also, our elders and board have just begun their own discussion on the matter and are praying through various points of view that have been shared thus far.
Here are a few suggestions about continuing the conversation that I have begun to mull over. Please add yours as the Spirit gives you ideas.
- Host a series of congregational gatherings for folks to speak to the issue and perhaps ask questions that embody their concerns.
- Host a small group focused on the subject of same sex attraction where people could go deeper in a relatively ‘safe’ environment.
- Start a family support group focused on learning how to help people interact faithfully and gracefully with their family members who have come out or who have begun to talk about their own same sex orientation.
- Start a book club of sorts and begin reading and discussion one or more recommended books on the subject. As an alternate, one or more already-established small groups could do this.
- Ask a brave member of our congregation who wrestles with same sex attraction to come to your small group and discuss what it has been like to be ‘out’ at Hope Chapel.
To be clear–I am committed to continuing this conversation in a grace-filled manner. I believe that Jesus wants us to walk openly in a welcoming manner with Christ-followers who wrestle with same sex attraction while seeking to remain faithful to the Gospel.
Hopefully, we will become evermore a place where all manner of disaffected people far from God, may draw near to Christ Jesus and find salvation.