Adults - Resources
From the Coordinating Group for Discussions on Human Sexuality
We are a group appointed by church council. We have been asked to coordinate information gathering, educational opportunities, sharing events, etc, with the intent of having Bethel Mennonite Church wrestle with the issue of a more inclusive practice with regards to human sexuality.
We have been asked by the deacon executive and church council to facilitate the further dialogue needed to come to a better understanding of the issues related to non-heterosexual orientation.
We have been asked to help Bethel move along a path to a greater understanding of the issues and our congregation’s position regarding inclusion of non-heterosexual persons at Bethel.
We have also been asked to give special care to the unity of our congregation as we engage in this dialogue.
Given this mandate, we recommend the following videos, books and articles.
While many videos with teaching and preaching are available, these two are very recent and have been prepared specifically for congregations of Mennonite Church Canada. The first video in particular urges us to maintain unity and appreciate diversity as we discern difficult matters.
John Neufeld, speaking at the end of the Mennonite Church Manitoba Bible study conference, October 2015.
Loren Johns, a professor at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, offering a biblical study in conjunction with the “Being a Faithful Church” process.
Even within the small circle of the Mennonite church there are many articles and opinion pieces available. We recommend these first two because of the deeply personal experiences they lend to the conversation, and we recommend the third because it represents another side of the discussion. The fourth article, by Walter Wink, lends a thorough review of pertinent scriptures, and reminds us to lean on the guidance of the Spirit and Jesus’ example of love as we review scripture.
Roberta Showalter Krieder
These and a number of other books on this subject can be found in our church library.
“Reasoning Together: A conversation on homosexuality”
by Mark Thiessen Nation & Ted Grimsrud
This book comes out of public conversations on homosexuality by two Mennonite theology professors with different perspectives. The first section of the book sets the context for the conversation, identifying issues and describing the differences among Christians. The second section contains presentations from each writer along with each responding to the other. The third section has each writer asking questions of the other, leading to a give and take dialogue.
by Justin Lee
Torn is an intensely personal, compassionately written book by a prominent Christian gay rights activist from the southern United States. Lee chronicles his journey with his own sexuality, his exclusion from Christian church and campus groups because of his sexual orientation, and his desire for the church to be a welcoming place of grace and respectful dialogue.
“Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches”
Edited by Walter Wink
This book presents short chapters from prominent church leaders – Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical – who address the fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Together they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to tolerance, and to Gospel values.
A more extensive list of links and suggested reading can be found HERE at our church’s Pilgrim Group resource page.
The resource booklet and all the videos shared by Mennonite Church Manitoba following the Bible study conference that took place in Morden in October, 2015 can be found at this link.
Since 2009 Bethel has been part of the “Being a Faithful Church” (BFC) process outlined by Mennonite Church Canada. The following link takes you to their site where you can download the BFC documents.
Recognizing that we are all treaty people, with gratitude we acknowledge our gathering on Treaty No. 1 land and the traditional homeland of the Metis Nation.
Imitating the inclusive welcome of Jesus, we seek to be a community marked by the love of God.
Regardless of age, race, or sexual orientation, we invite you to make Bethel your spiritual home.
Sharing the peace of Christ, together we strive to reveal the realm of God in the world.