Where Do We Go From Here?

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.

I agree.

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.

  1. Host a series of congregational gatherings for folks to speak to the issue and perhaps ask questions that embody their concerns.
  2. Host a small group focused on the subject of same sex attraction where people could go deeper in a relatively ‘safe’ environment.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

–geno

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3 Responses to Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. Elwood Fischer says:

    While we’re considering how to talk about these things, we may also need to intentionally expand the circle of people we invite to lunch and into our homes. I believe the heart of Sally Gary’s visit was the deep loneliness of not being allowed to pursue connection with the people to whom your heart is most drawn. She challenged us to respond to this need with compassion and to actively become a community that meets connection needs in a Godly way. Geno has warned us that we tend toward forming “tribes.” While special groups can help meet some needs, they must be set in a larger community where we know, love, and interact significantly and regularly (freely, even) with people across whichever aisle we currently hesitate to cross. I’m preaching to myself here, too.

  2. Tildon Humphrey says:

    I don’t know that I’m especially “brave” …but I am a member of Hope Chapel who wrestles with same sex attraction. I would be willing to meet with anyone who wants to talk. I am open to awkward questions. If anyone (individual, family or group) would like to talk with me, I have some conditions: Ask the Lord before you ask me (I’ll ask Him before I reply). The conversation is to be had in the context of a meal (your house or mine). Communion must be served before the meal. Prayer for each other (me for you and you for me) must follow the meal.

    Much love!

    Tildon

  3. Mellisa says:

    We definetly need to continue the conversation. I would add something to the affect of speaking with those who feel the church should not be talking about this subject. As I am sure there are a few. They need a voice as well. It may be hard to get them to go to it but we should try.

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