“In every family there are subjects that seem to bring out the worst in us when we discuss them. For United Methodists, that topic is currently homosexuality.” (9) So says Jill Johnson, one of my co-authors of the new book, Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and The United Methodist Church, just out from Abingdon Press. But this book may help us to bring our best selves to the discussion.
Living Faithfully is designed to help participants “understand and grapple with various views about the ministry and teaching of The United Methodist Church around human sexuality.” I’m happy to have been a contributor to this new four-week small group study. (I got chapter 4.) A Leader Guide is included with lesson plans for facilitating the study.
The book includes biblical and theological reflections along with information on United Methodist structure and diverse perspectives. You’ll learn about the Commission on a Way Forward and where the denominational discernment is moving in the next few years.
“In every family there are subjects that seem to bring out the worst in us when we discuss them. For United Methodists, that topic is currently homosexuality.”
I come to a close in my chapter with the following thought: “Full inclusion of LGBTQ persons and diversity of biblical interpretation are important to explore. But we may not be able to go far in the conversation unless we first have spirits formed by Christian community and the disciplines of that community. Without that soil to grow in, our debates will look suspiciously like those that dominate our divided nation.” (82)
I pray this book helps to understand an important issue, but more so, I hope it brings people together for deep and fruitful growth as beloved community.