After our May 1st church-wide discussion on the direction of the UMC regarding human sexuality, we promised education and awareness opportunities to support us on our journey.  You asked for more knowledge of biblical interpretation of scripture as well as more information about the ‘alphabet soup’ of LGBTQ.  Finally, you asked for ways to learn more about the current thinking around how the greater UMC might respond to our current discord.  Below are several opportunities to learn and grow.  We hosted two events at SUM.  All other resources are intended to supplement the events.

Wesley, Methodism & Theological Discernment

  • Event - Pastor Panel: How We Came To Our Understanding.

Held:  Sunday June 23 from 11AM-1PM and Monday evening June 24 from 7-9PM

Watch the video here.

Overview:  Hear how these three Methodist leaders use the Wesley Quadrilateral to enrich their understanding of the scripture as it pertains to our theological task their ongoing effort to live as Christians in the complexities of a secular world on topics ranging from women in the church to slavery to our most current topic regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ siblings in full participation of the church.  Each person will describe his journey of discernment and how each has used scripture, tradition, experience and reason to come to his conclusions.  

Panelists:  Rev. Gene Ott (Lead pastor Simsbury United Methodist, member of the executive committee of the NYAC Board of Ordained Ministry), Rev. Mel Kawakami (retired pastor, member of the executive committee of the NYAC Board of Ordained Ministry), Rev. Dennis Winkleblack (retired pastor, former assistant to the Bishop, former UMC District Superintendent, member of the NYAC Board of Ordained Ministry)

  • Video - Adam Hamilton: Adam Hamilton held a “townhall” with his church after the February 2019 General Conference. He explains how he came from a view that homosexuality is not compatible with the UMC doctrine to his current understanding of inclusion of LGBTQ siblings in full participation of the church. Approximately 60 minutes.

  • Article - Adam Hamilton: The Bible Says It, That Settles It This blog article is from Adam Hamilton’s website. It was written prior to the February 2019 General Conference and explains his love of scripture and how he interprets it towards his conclusions of full inclusion.

Adam Hamilton is the senior pastor of the 22,000-member United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in LeawoodKansas, the largest United Methodist congregation in the world, measured by both weekend attendance and membership. Hamilton has received numerous awards, including two honorary doctorates, the B'nai B'rith award in Social Ethics, the Denman Award in Evangelism, and the Circuit Rider Award for excellence in church leadership. He was named one of the "Ten People to Watch in America's Spiritual Landscape" by Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church by the Foundation for Evangelism. He is the author of numerous books many of which have been used for SUM Adult Spiritual Growth.

  • Book - Holy Love, A Biblical Theology for Human Sexuality by Steve Harper
    In Holy Love, Steve Harper strives to articulate the truth about the teachings of the Bible and Wesleyan tradition on human sexuality. This very accessible book is intended for church leaders, small groups, and those interested in understanding the Bible’s teaching on this fundamental component of human life, experience and relationships. The book will help church leaders and small groups make the constructive case that biblical, Christian teaching is compatible with faithful, covenantal love and intimacy amidst all sexual orientations.

  • Book – God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines
    As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to some-day share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships. Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality.

With just the right mixture of humor and insight, compassion and incredulity, A Year of Biblical Womanhood is an exercise in scriptural exploration and spiritual contemplation. What does God truly expect of women, and is there really a prescription for biblical womanhood? Come along with Evans as she looks for answers in the rich heritage of biblical heroines, models of grace, and all-around women of valor. 

  • Article – Our Theological Task Read how the United Methodist Church explains theological discernment.

  • Article – Wesley’s Quadrilateral Read how the United Methodist Church explains our Wesleyan heritage around interpreting scripture.

  • Video – Wesley’s Quadrilateral View this humorous and informative 5 minute “Chuck Knows Church” episode produced by the United Methodist Church.

Event - The Basics of Human Sexuality & LGBTQ

Held:  Sunday June 30 from 11AM-1PM and Monday evening July 1 from 7-9PM

Resources:  For a copy of the slide deck contact Deb deacon@sumct.org

Overview:  This 90-minute session will help you make sense of the current terminology used to communicate human sexuality and increase your understanding of the most recent scientific and medical findings regarding gender identity and more.   Time is planned for Q&A.

Speaker:  David Figliuzzi is a diversity consultant and social justice trainer working both independently and with the National Conference for Community and Justice.  Most recently, David served as the Chief Diversity Officer at Cigna. He is currently pursuing graduate studies in Divinity at Hartford Seminary where he recently won the annual Preaching Competition. David's home church is the Asylum Hill Congregational Church of Hartford where he serves as Vice Moderator.

Potential UMC Responses

  • Book – Where Do We Go From Here? In Where Do We Go From Here?: Honest Responses From Twenty-Four United Methodist Leaders, four bishops, several pastors, laypersons, campus ministers, students, general board directors and others share their honest responses to the question, “Where do we go from here?” Voices from the traditional, centrist and progressive viewpoints share their thoughts on where their church is and where it should go from here. Thought-provoking, inspiring and sometimes troubling, this book offers individuals and groups a place to better understand what United Methodist leaders are thinking in this crucial time. Printing was delayed until after the Judicial Council rulings in late April, giving co-authors the opportunity to update their chapters and respond to the decision.