At the April 29th-May 4th meeting of the Council of Bishops, the Commission on a Way Forward will present its final report and the bishops will decide what will be sent to the delegates of the 2019 General Conference for action. The commission has been working on a proposal “to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to LGBTQ inclusion and resulting questions about the unity of the church.”
Hopefully, you are already preparing your congregation for discussions around the news that will be released. We suggested some resources and a timeline to begin these discussions in a previous post.
Since then, the NC Conference Media Center has added eight new books that could be used to inform your discussions and teaching among church leaders and the full congregation. These books cover a wide variety of educated opinions on homosexuality and the church, as well as the best way forward for the United Methodist Church.
Request These Resources
These books can be borrowed by anyone associated with the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, free of charge. We can even mail them to you! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.
New Books in the Faultlines Series
Abingdon Press, a United Methodist Publisher, has released six new books in the Faultlines series. This series is “intended to inform conversations around human sexuality and the church,” and it covers the wide range of opinions of United Methodist leaders on the topic. Find a book below that differs from your own opinion to help create more fruitful conversations in our churches. Click on the titles of each book to see a full description.
Holy Contradictions: What’s Next for the People Called United Methodists edited by Brian K. Milford.
This book is a collection of 17 essays from different church leaders that covers the full range of perspectives on homosexuality and the church.
The Marks of Hope: Where the Spirit is Moving in a Wounded Church by Matt Rawle, Juan Huertas, Katie McKay Simpson.
Three young United Methodist pastors show the ways the church is making a difference in the world. The authors jointly write a “communion” section at the end of each chapter with practical steps for all United Methodists to work together for the church.
Our Strangely Warmed Hearts: Coming Out Into God’s Call by Karen P. Oliveto.
The first openly lesbian bishop of The United Methodist Church tells her story and those of other LGBTQ persons who are hearing the call to ministry.
A New Church and a New Seminary: Theological Education Is the Solution by David McAllister-Wilson.
The president of Wesley Theological Seminary tells of a new kind of progressive evangelicalism that is regenerating our churches and our seminaries.
The Fight for Marriage: Church Conflicts and Courtroom Contests by Phillip F. Cramer and William L. Harbison.
Attorneys Harbison and Cramer, faithful and active members of a United Methodist congregation, brought one of the cases to the US Supreme Court which resulted in the legalization of gay marriage. In this account of the case, they explore the relationship between the church and the state in regard to marriage.
Are We Really Better Together? An Evangelical Perspective on the Division in the UMC by Rob Renfroe and Walter Fenton.
Two United Methodist pastors argue that division is the best way forward for the UMC.
New Book: A Methodist Requiem
A Methodist Requiem: Words of Hope and Resurrection for the Church by William B. Lawrence.
Lawrence, a professor at Southern Methodist University and a research fellow at Duke Divinity School, writes a hopeful book that claims redemption and resurrection for the future of the church so that our troubles will give way to new opportunities to be strengthened in our mission. Discussion questions are included. Read more about this book in this article by the United Methodist News Service.
Leading LGBTQ Youth
4 Views on Pastoring LGBTQ Teenagers : Effective Ministry to Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, and Questioning Students Among Us edited by Mark Oestreicher, Contributors: Shelley Donaldson, Gemma Dunning, Nick Elio, and Eric Woods.
Oestreicher pulls together four different youth leaders from across the spectrum who offer their best ideas on faithfully ministering to LGBTQ youth. Each view is followed by a response from one of the other writers. Oestreicher is the parent of a transgender teen and offers his own perspective in an appendix. An additional appendix by a United Methodist youth leader offers thoughts on pastoring transgender youth. To learn more about the content of this book, read the thoughtful reviews posted on the Youth Cartel website.
More Resources on the UMC Way Forward
View our full list of resources on homosexuality, the UMC Way Forward, and church unity in our Homosexuality and the UMC Way Forward (Church Unity) pathfinder. The list includes books for group discussion, curriculum, DVD studies, videos, and websites.