This Saturday, there is an open invitation to the congregation(s) to come to the rectory to talk about sexuality and the church. This comes after discussions that whirled around Lambeth, and the realisation that far more people were wanting to talk about the church’s understanding of homosexuality than I had anticipated.
We’ve spoken before about ‘the current tensions in the Anglican Communion’ (I am so tired of that phrase), but it was focused on church structures rather than understandings of sexuality. So, today, I am trying to plan the workshop and develop a few small handouts.
It’s hard, isn’t it?
I sat down to map out the areas we might need to touch on, and quickly wrote down (in no particular order):
- understandings of homosexuality
- is gender constructed?
- biblical criticism: how do we interpret?
- bible as rule book or record of relationship?
- is revelation ongoing? / role of Spirit
- how do we determine what is culturally bound?
- theologies of the body
- sex, faithfulness, marriage
- sexuality, identity, relationships
- role of liberation theology
The goal, of course, is that the people who come do most of the talking/ thinking, and I just help to build scaffolding. And all this has to happen in about 90 minutes.
Preparing this sends me back to questions I have asked before: is it possible to ‘start’ with homosexuality or do you need to go right back through the early discussions on gender and liberation?
If there were one thing you would hope everyone would understand by the end of such a conversation, what would it be?