The Connectional Table’s Human Sexuality Task Force Hosts Third Panel on Human Sexuality

Connectional TableMAPUTO, Mozambique: On February 10, 2015, in Maputo, Mozambique, The Connectional Table’s Human Sexuality Task Force hosted its third and final panel on human sexuality which emphasized the denomination’s central conference perspective. Ricky Harrison, Connectional Table member and Master of Divinity student at Duke Divinity School, moderated the panel. Panelists included Rev. Nday Bondo of Africa University and elder in the North Katanga Annual Conference, Rev. Israel Alvaran of Reconcilings ciling Ministries Network and elder in the Philippines Annual Conference, and Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal area of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference. Panelists introduced themselves by answering two questions. The first addressed the relationship between sexual orientation and one’s membership, baptism, and full involvement in the life of The United Methodist Church. The second question inquired about the potential outcomes of a change within The Book of Discipline on the current stance regarding homosexuality. Panelists responded to these questions and others from the Human Sexuality Task Force, members of The Connectional Table, and from the DreamUMC Twitter conversation held on January 26, 2015. The panel was recorded by United Methodist Communications and will be available online starting February 13, 2015, at http://umc.org/connectional-table-webcast.

Immediately following the panel, members of The Connectional Table gathered and discussed possible approaches to respond to their April 2014 motion concerning human sexuality. The Human Sexuality Legislative Team asked the Connectional Table for direction in accordance to this mandate.

Kennetha Bigham-Tsai, district superintendent of the West Michigan Annual Conference and Connectional Table member, presented a report to The Connectional Table on the process taken by the Team. The report emphasized three theological assertions that directed their work. They were the centrality of mission, unity for the sake of mission, and baptism as the basis for our identity as Christians and as United Methodists.

After the presentation, Connectional Table members spent the afternoon in discernment and conversation as they prayerfully considered the response to the motion. The Connectional Table read each approach and discerned in small groups. Responses from individual members and from the small groups were gathered at the conclusion of the session and will be used to direct the continued work of the General Conference – Missional Administration Group.

Though the CT did not take a formal vote at this meeting, the group did affirm the consideration of a particular approach that could provide a “Third Way” beyond The United Methodist Church’s impasse over homosexuality.

“This approach maintains the unity of the church, focuses the church on its mission, and provides spaces of grace in which there could be the exercise of conscience,” stated Kennetha Bigham-Tsai. “The group also affirmed that this approach would best allow for the contextual practice of ministry. The CT will continue its discernment and decision making process at its May meeting. Following this meeting their final recommendation will be released.”

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Contact:
Diane Degnan ddegnan@umcom.org
615.742.5406 (o) 615.483.1765 (c)

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14 Comments on "The Connectional Table’s Human Sexuality Task Force Hosts Third Panel on Human Sexuality"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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George Nixon Shuler
Guest

Well, that was different. Everything OK at home, Cully?

Cully
Guest

one has an acquaintance who has lost a spouse to the horrible disease of Alzheimer’s. one finds the endless dialogue about human sex(uality) trite/troubling/unending. one wonders when the united Methodist reporter will focus on eternal things as opposed to “50 shades of gray?” one knows intimate love between man/woman is a God-given privilege that we humans have desecrated and made dirty………………………………..

Kevin
Guest

Hey George
If you are hanging out at the Junction City Starbucks have you thought about maybe switching to decaf? Just a thought. You seem a little wound up.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

What I get is your lack of an argument.

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

My friend, I am not impressed by people speaking in riddles. If you wish to be understood, you need to spit it out, be direct, and say what you mean and mean what you say. Otherwise, all you are doing here is bullying. I understand you must get some real enjoyment from that. It’s understandable. When one uses religion as a weapon, usually that is preceded by weapons being used on them.

Kevin
Guest

Russ I hear you. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

George Nixon Shuler
Guest

I’m not a coffee drinking person. What do you mean?

james
Guest

And here we go———-again……………………….

George Nixon Shuler
Guest
One of the most amazing things about fundamentalist visions of Heaven is the idea there will be no conflict there. Of course, to most of them, the lack of conflict would mostly be due to an understanding that those they hate will not be there, and perhaps at times they can gleefully sit along balconies to watch their enemies writhing in eternal flames below, perhaps while sipping a sweet tea brought by a servant like the Brother on the Uncle Ben’s Rice package. The vision is surely disingenuous, for how could there ever be eternal peace and harmony when human… Read more »
Kevin
Guest
From the Call to Action in 2010 supported by the Connectional Table “But frailties in the UMC’s culture, including lack of trust, low levels of mutual respect and the absence of civil dialogue, insufficient clarity about the precise roles and responsibilities of leaders, and lack of agreed ways to measure success or assure collaboration are corroding our connections.” From what I can tell none of the trust issues have been fixed. Our connections have been undermined even more since then. Will the new team come up with more recommendations we do not trust and will fall flat at the next… Read more »
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

I’d like to see a moratorium on all church trials as a prelude to changing the rules to something people not overcome with their ignorance and hate can live with.

Wes Andrews
Guest

The progressive propaganda tour continues….

Mark
Guest
George Nixon Shuler
Guest

The way things are going, it’s more like a victory tour.

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