Last week a number of Christian lay people and ministers met in Cape Town informed by the 115th Conference of the MCSA (PE-2001) that resolved that we (Methodists) would be "a community of love rather than rejection", and the practical enactment of this value that was resolved by the 117th Conference (Johannesburg-2005) which decided that safe places be formed "...for people of a same sex orientation to tell their stories. [where there can be]... healing and forgiveness for both the church and these members".
The purpose of this meeting in Cape Town was to consider how we could increase the witness, welcome, warmth and, hospitality of Christ's gospel for all persons (much like Jesus himself speaks of in John 3:16). The purpose was to seek to break down the 'dividing wall of hostility' between persons of different positions on the same sex matter in the Church (Ephesians 2.14), and that Jesus’ love is equally given for all people (John 3.16, Romans 3.23-24; Romans 6.23). A number of testimonies were shared by people of a same sex orientation, who love Christ, and yet have felt excluded from, and unwelcome in, Christ's Church. It was a challenging, and moving, meeting.
I recorded a number of these testimonies, devotions, and Bible studies. We have decided to make the report of the listening committee available (this report sums up the feelings, ideas, and experiences of the members of the meeting).
The report is in MP3 format, it is about 6MB in size, and is presetned by the Reverend Alan Storey.
You can download the report HERE (simply click on the link).
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this report does not represent the official views of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, or any of the local societies of this Christian denomination. Rather, it is a process report that resulted form the resolutions of Conference 2005. As a process report it is likely to change, adapt, and grow as it encounters persons and positions that represent different perspectives on this issue.
For an alternative perspective from within the Methodist Church of Southern Africa please download and read the following document:
An alternative position on persons with a same sex relationship. (Adobe PDF document).
So, please do pray that we will find a way forward that:
a. Is true to God's will and desire for God's Church and God's mission in the world.
b. The moral, ethical, justice, mercy, and grace filled principles of the Gospel are upheld for persons who hold very different, and often conflicting views, without denying each other's dignity, commitment to Christ, and without harming the mission and evangelical purpose of Christ's Church.
c. No person should ever feel that Christ does not love or accept them.
d. Our Churches would love the people that Jesus loves, and love doing the things that Jesus does, even if it is difficult and challenging to do so.
Please feel free to engage me on this issue!
With much love in Christ! Dion