Book study on understanding differences in the UMC
regarding homosexuality

Fellow travelers on the road with Christ:

In late February there will be a special general conference in St. Louis dedicated to trying to resolve differences within the United Methodist Church regarding its stance on homosexuality.  This has been well known for some time and occasionally I have offered people references for places to go to find out more.

I believe that before this conference happens, it can be a benefit to us as a congregation to study the differences in our denomination together, not to facilitate a vote, but rather understanding.  We took a vote that addressed this issue many months ago and the discussion revealed deep divides in our congregation.  My hope is that studying together might help us see a more complete picture of why this issue is so important to so many.

To that end, I will be leading a study based on the book, "United Methodists Divided; Understanding Our Differences Over Homosexuality" in coming weeks.  This is one of the resources recommended by the Great Plains Conference and is about 150 pages long.  The Conference believes it to be an even-handed treatment of this issue.   I have divided the material in the book into five sections and I will lead a discussion of each section twice, one on Saturdays at 9:30 and another on Monday mornings at 10, both at the church.  The first session will be this Saturday, January 26th.  You won't have to do any reading prior to the first session but there will be reading after that.

We will not be taking any votes during this study or at the conclusion of it.  That's not the purpose.  The purpose is to help us increase understanding of the depth of emotion that exists regarding this issue and how reasonable people can come to very different conclusions about it.  

Books will be provided to any participants for free.  Church endowment funds have generously agreed to underwrite their cost.

I hope you will consider attending this study.  It is necessary for us to be able to reasonably talk about issues of great importance to our faith and our community.  

I have sent this to people for whom I had email addresses.  Please invite others to come and share in the study.  All are welcome.  If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

With You in Christ,

Pastor Lynn