February 3, 2009

Thrill Ride

I’ve been meeting with a number of people, staff and laypersons, getting ready for the upcoming four-week series of adult classes. The name of the series is “All God’s Children: Exploring Homosexuality and Our Faith.” I am so pumped for this.

I will miss the pastor’s sermon on the 15th which will introduce the subject into public discussion. It kills me that I won’t be there for the follow-up workshop, during which the congregation will be taken through the discernment process to change the language of our denomination’s constitution. That change will allow each church to decide whether to ordain openly gay pastors. While the church’s vote does not count, persons from each church will be appointed to vote in the presbytery. I have great hope that we will lead our presbytery in approving this change.

Once the sermon opens up the topic, we will offer guided discussion in the class. I and two other individuals will open the series on Feb. 22 talking about family members and the impact of the church on their lives.

The second week, we have “borrowed” two gay Christians to tell their stories. I met one of those people today. A man strong in his faith, “Corey” was raised in a Baptist church and learned early on to hate who he was. He even attended an Ex-Gay reparative therapy course and miraculously emerged whole. I have great respect for anyone who can hold tight to his faith through such a test. He and his partner are new fathers to an adopted elementary-age boy. They are solid in their faith and at peace with their lives. I am grateful for his willingness to share his story. I believe it is stories like his that will change the hearts of those who hear them.

We will follow with a session on the genetics of homosexuality and close with the class that I’m sure will be packed: Biblical interpretation. The response to these classes will determine how we move from here. I have a number of ideas and a slew of resources.

I’ve been cleared of my on-floor responsibilities with the Sunday School to attend and co-moderate all of these classes. I’ve climbed aboard the roller coaster, and it’s ascending to the top of the first rise. I’ve never been on this one before, so I don’t know what kind of ride it’s going to be.

Here we go...

10 comments:

LiftThineEyes said...

My prayers will be with you and your congregation. Love the picture! Let that rollercoaster take you wherever it takes you - it's where you were meant to go!

bigislandjeepguy said...

good luck! i am sure you are gonna kick ass.

MartininBroda said...

God luck and God bless you (I know it sounds like a phrase, but I mean it so).

THIS IS ME....ONLINE said...

Good luck, Birdie! I admire your passion.

MartininBroda said...

I should not comment just before falling asleep - “good luck” of course. It is impressive how committed you are.

Brian R said...

Thank you and may God bless you for your wonderful efforts. I will be praying.

Patrick said...

SO exciting, my Dear! You're a dynamo!

tornwordo said...

Kudos and good luck!

Bill said...

This is very exciting, and I know that you have been working on this for quite awhile. I'm looking forward to hearing how it proceeds.

Bear Me Out said...

As a gay man, I want to say THANK YOU for taking this on. Blessings for its success.

We need all the straight folk we can get talking about it.

If only I could talk about it more . . .