We Disciples are in a time of sharing around the table about sexual orientation. We will be posting resources for conversation and listening on these pages as the conversation unfolds. The primary goal is to help us engage respectfully and to understand each other rather than to convince.

A message from Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins regarding the resources on this page

Please watch the video on the left for a brief introduction to the resources you will find on this page regarding sexual orientation and the Church.

Watch or read Sharon Watkins' message to the church and join the discussion on her blog »

 

Listening to the Spirit - book by William O. Paulsell
Listening to the Spirit [Video]

Talking Together as Christians (ELCA) 
(Talking Together document - 25 pages; Cross-cultural field guide - 176 pages)

Talking Together as Christians (Spanish)

Is the Homosexual my Neighbor? - conversation transcript of Tony and Peggy Campolo.

La Biblia, el Cristianismo, y la Homosexualidad - by Justin Cannon 

The Tragedy of Labels by Michael Jinkins (a short article)

How Disciples Interpret the Bible
by M. Eugene Boring (Stone-Campbell Dialogue, June 2005)

Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality
by Walter Wink (Christian Century, November 1979)

The Homosexuality Debate: Two streams of biblical interpretation 
by Ted Grimsrud

Biblia Y Homosexualidad: ¿Se equivocaron los traductores? by Renato Lings (link to Amazon.com)





Bible Gender Sexuality: Reframing the Church's Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson

Inclusion:  Making Room for Grace by Eric H.F. Law
Covers the Biblical, theological and practical challenges for the church as we work to include all in our church communities.

The Moral Vision of the New Testament: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics by Richard B. Hays

The Moral Teaching of Paul by Victor Furnish

Welcoming but Not Affirming: An Evangelical Response to Homosexuality by Stanley J. Grenz

Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other and the Spirit of Transformation by Stephanie Spellers
A practical theological guide for congregations that want to move beyond mere inclusivity toward becoming a place where welcoming "the other" is taken seriously and engaging God’s mission becomes more than just a catch-phrase

Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel by Brian D. McLaren and Tony Campolo






The Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

1327 - Becoming a People of Grace and Welcome to All

1123 - Support of Children and Youth by Opposing Bullying

0514  - Denouncing Hateful Speech and Action Aimed  at Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Persons, and Renewing our Commitment to the Process of Discernment

0112 - Presentation and Report from the Discernment Committee on the Participation of Gay and Lesbian Persons in the Life of the Church

9925 - Report from the Discernment Committee on the Item for Research and Reflection (#9719) The Participation of Gay and Lesbian Persons in the Life of the Church 

9719 - A Call for Reflection on the Participation of Gay and Lesbian Persons in the Life of the Church

9141 Statement on Homosexuals in Ministry presented as an Item for Reflection and Research accepted by the 1991 General Assembly

“The church is not of one mind on the question concerning homosexuals and ministry. It is believed that rather than a yes or no vote at this time, this is an issue which needs judicious and mature reflection and research in light of a church that is in deep conflict and in need of reconciliation. Involved are a number of connected issues such as principles of biblical interpretation, the definition of sin, the basis for making ethical decisions, the church’s authority, Disciples polity and the nature of ordination.

“The church needs to reflect more deeply on the question of ordination of persons who are gay, lesbian or bi-sexual, studying the biblical foundations of human sexual expression, practice and lifestyle, informed by the fullest possible range of knowledge about human homosexuality and whether persons who are gay, lesbian or bi-sexual shall automatically be disqualified as candidates for ordination.”

8727 Concerning the Bible’s Teaching on Homosexuality – not approved by the 1987 General Assembly. The resolution would have declared homosexuality as one of the sins listed in the Bible and an unacceptable lifestyle for Christians.

7952 Report and Recommendations of the Task Force in the Ministry Concerning Referred Resolution 7744 – adopted by the 1979 General Assembly. Recommendations included: “That the General Assembly commend Regional Commissions on the Ministry for their serious and responsible programs of nurture and certification leading to the licensing and ordaining of ministers.” And “That the General Assembly reaffirm the current practice of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as set forth in the ‘Policies and Criteria for the Order of Ministry’ which (1) cites among the qualifications for ordination ‘personal fitness sufficient to the demands of the office, including mental and physical capacities, emotional stability and maturity, and standards of morality,’ and which (2) assigns to the regions and their related congregations the responsibility to assess ‘the spiritual, emotional, moral, intellectual, and educational capacities’ … of all applicants to the ministry.”

7760 Concerning Homosexuality as an Alternative Lifestyle – disapproved by the 1977 General Assembly noting the statement by the General Board: “In light of the General Board’s recommended action in Resolution 7747 which neither approves of nor condemns homosexuality, and in light of the General Board’s recommended action on Study Document 7750 on Homosexuality in the Church, it is premature at this time to take action on this resolution.”

7750 A Study Document on Homosexuality and the Church – approved by the 1977 General Assembly with the caveat “This document is issued by the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is a study document only. It is not to be construed as an official statement of attitudes or policies of the General Assembly.”

7747 Resolution Concerning Civil Liberties of Homosexual Persons – approved by the 1977General Assembly, “while neither approving of nor condemning homosexuality, urge the passage of legislation…which will end the denial of civil rights…for reasons of sexual orientation or preference and calls upon its members to advocate and support…such legislation.”

7744 Resolution Concerning Ordination of Homosexuals – referred by the 1977 General Assembly to the Office of General Minister and President for a Task Force on Ministry of the General Board responsible for development of the Policies and Criteria for the Order of Ministry adopted by the 1971 assembly

Commitment to Civil Dialogue and Respect


Prior to the presentation of a resolution regarding sexual orientation and ministerial standing in the Indiana Region, Linda McCrae and Todd Barnhizer, pastors of two congregations on opposing sides of the question, presented this call for civil dialogue and respect for everyone present at the 2012 Indiana Regional Assembly.