The calling of the church is to seek to understand the desires of God for our times and to share this good news. Mennonite Church Canada is now in the 7th year of a discernment process to strengthen our capacity to be the church even while we consider difficult issues that face congregations. First Mennonite joins this conversation; together as a multi-voiced congregation we venture into the tensions within the Bible regarding sexuality.
During the month of May we wrestled with our Scriptures around the topic of same sex unions. We heard from four different perspectives – these scripture and sermon audio files are available on the Scripture and Sermon page.
Find here an English summary (PDF) of our work during May as we wrestled with some of the tough bibilical texts on the topic of homosexuality. Please read it carefully and prayerfully. This document also includes a plan for continuing the conversation going forward.
Haga clic aquí para encontrar un resumen en español (PDF) de nuestro trabajo durante el mes de mayo con algunos de los textos difíciles de la Biblia sobre el tema de las relaciones entre parejas del mismo género. Favor de considerarlo en oración. También se incluye un plan para los proximos pasos de la conversación.
There are also many more resources and voices allowing you to go deeper into the topic. Here are some that we have found helpful:
- 2 articles circulated at Adult SS on May 24
- BFC-6 pdf from Mennonite Church Canada, which contains many resources.
Available for borrowing
- Sarah Ruden, Paul Among the People (New York: Pantheon Books, 2010) book recommended by Ed Janzen at May 3 gathering
- Willard Swartley, Homosexuality: Biblical Interpretation and Moral Discernment (Scottdale, Penn: Herald Press, 2003).
- Walter Wink, editor. Homosexuality and Christian Faith (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999)
- Welcome to Dialogue Series: 8 booklets. Also available on line at: http://www.welcome-committee.info/booklet-index.html
On the web
- First Mennonite Church website http://firstmennonitekitchener.ca/announcements-bulletins-and-sermons/mp3-archives/ this is where you’ll find the sermons preached in May.
- Rene’s sermon manuscript http://firstmennonitekitchener.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Jesus-May-2015-REV.pdf
- Glenn Brubacher’s thought experiment on Welcome, along with a covenant http://www.commonword.ca/ResourceView/43/17272
- Two evangelicals discuss the Bible on homosexuality: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theologyintheraw/2015/04/discussing-homosexuality-a-better-way/
- Loren Johns’ presentation looked at in Adult Sunday School on May 24.
- Loren Johns, Statements of Mennonite Conferences, Boards, and Committees on Homosexuality (1985–2004) http://www.ambs.edu/LJohns/ChurchDocs.htm
- Loren Johns, A Case Study in the Use of the Bible for Ethics http://www.ambs.edu/Ljohns/Homosexuality.htm
- Mennonite Church Canada’s, Being a Faithful Church Task Force Documents 1-6 http://www.commonword.ca/Browse/1659
- A Mennonite LGBTQ voice: http://www.pinkmenno.org/
- Ted Grimsrud, Blog on Peace Theology – section on homosexuality http://peacetheology.net/homosexuality/
- Roberta Kreider, Fifteen Reasons Why I Changed My Mind http://www.critpath.org/pflag-talk/15reasons.htm
Books available at Conrad Grebel University College
Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville: Abingdon, 2001).
Robin Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality: Contextual Background for Contemporary Debate (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983).
James Brownson, Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2013).
May God continue to guide our steps and thinking.