PASTORS & CHAPLAINS,
What are the goals of our time together?
This conversation is just one step in a journey of many steps. We have outlined the steps in our process in a presentation at Regional Gathering (Apr 17) and have them on our committee’s webpage. This Minister’s Conference we have three main goals:
Give our pastors an opportunity to offer some feedback into the process. During our time together we hope to collect your responses to the following questions.
What is the general mood among our pastors and leaders toward the conversation itself?
Where do our pastors believe our positional statements fall within the larger conversations inside and outside the church on human sexuality?
What assumptions exist in our local churches and “neighbourhoods” about where the FMCiC falls within the larger conversation on human sexuality?
Establish a “baseline” by taking time to examine the position of the FMCiC (see below) around human sexuality and gender identity. We will be taking our time together to understand our stance on human sexuality and surface assumptions that we make about our denominational position, which may or may not be accurate.
Ask our pastoral leaders to consider how they will prepare their congregations to meaningfully participate in our upcoming discussion forums.
We fully anticipate that some of you will find this process is moving too fast. We also anticipate that some of you will find this process is moving too slow. We also anticipate that some of you are feeling comfortable and not really understanding what all the fuss is about. We are asking that all of you consciously choose to forebear with one another. We are going to lean hard into love – as the bible teaches us that love “always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.”
To those who are afraid we’re moving too quickly, we are asking for your trust. There is no one involved in this process that wants to do anything rash or sudden. We intend to be careful, thoughtful, biblical, and attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit among us.
To those who are afraid we aren’t moving fast enough, we are asking for your patience. This isn’t just an idle fireside chat we’re having. This is going somewhere and this process will result in concrete proposals being made to the General Conference.
To those who are fine with the pace. Please stay attentive to the needs of those around you. Lots of your brothers and sisters are finding this all very stressful. They have good and godly reasons for their emotions. Please do your best to support them.
DAY ONE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 28
Network and Hangout Time (EAST) – ONLINE CAFE
Start – 3:30pm Eastern
Establish groups – test technology
Session 1: Gathering & Preparing our Hearts (4:00 PM EST, 3:00 CST, 2:00 MST, 1:00 PST)
- How are we coming into this conversation?
Break – (5:00 PM EST, 4:00 CST, 3:00 MST, 2:00 PST)
Session 2: Our Pathway Forward (6:30 PM EST, 5:30 CST, 4:30 MST, 3:30 PST)
- Re-articulate the Pathway Forward
o Clarifying questions
- Introduction to the Same Sex Sexuality Matrix
o Look at a variety of statements from other communities and place them within the broader conversation.
Network & Hangout Time + Online Cafe – (8:00 PM EST, 7:00 CST, 6:00 MST, 5:00 PST)
DAY TWO WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 29
Network & Hangout Time + Online Cafe
Session 3: The Same Sex Sexuality Matrix Continued (11:00 AM EST, 10:00 CST, 9:00 MST, 8:00 PST)
- A deeper look at the FMCiC statement. Where do these words place our denomination within the broader conversation?
- Where do our members see us within the broader conversation?
- Where do our neighbours see us within the broader conversation?
Session 4: Final Thoughts (12:30 PM EST, 11:30 CST, 10:30 MST, 9:30 PST)
- What themes have you heard?
- What is the Spirit saying to you?
- How are you leaving this conversation?
So Now What?
- Where does the conversation go from here?
Final words – Bishop Cliff
Network & Hangout Time + Online Cafe