Looking for information on our Courageous Conversation on Racism? Go to our CC page.
Do you know St. Peter believed gentiles were unclean and impure? He hesitated and defied when God called him to go to Cornelius’ house in the Book of Acts. The early church was divided when “gentile” Christians who were not circumcised joined in their community. Throughout church history, we can find controversial issues that divided faith communities such as antisemitism, slavery and female clergy. Christians select particular verses and passages from the Bible to support what they think is compatible with the Bible and what is incompatible with it. Believers easily decry and deny what they believe is wrong. Right now, most Methodists have a shared understanding on slavery and female clergy; slavery is sin and ordaining female clergy is not incompatible with the Bible. However, we are still wrestling with an unresolved controversial debate on homosexuality and the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons. On one side are people who reject homosexuality as a sin; on the other side are people who welcome people of any sexual orientation as equally acceptable to God. Many believers find themselves somewhere in the middle – uncomfortable equalizing homosexuality and heterosexuality but confident that all persons can and should somehow be part of God’s community.
Through the second Courageous Conversations (CC) event, Platte Woods UMC opens conversation – not debate – on homosexuality and LGBTQIA+. We will look for better awareness on the issue. We will listen and participate in the conversation examining what the Bible “says” on it and what the church (the UMC Book of Discipline) claims.
Following the event, we’ll have a three-week Small Group Study (breakout groups), where we’ll figure out our own prejudices and biases on the issue and seek wisdom for how Christians respond in a faith community.