A church in downtown Nashville is reaching out in ways that matter. I recently met a few members of the West End United Methodist congregation at Pride. I was prompted to stop at their booth when I caught glimpse of the t-shirts for sale that read: “God Loves Everyone Unconditionally”. As we chatted briefly, I realized they were also selling “For the Bible Tells Me So”. (If you haven’t seen this documentary, you must stop reading this now, and go here to see the trailer. Consequently, the film is currently streaming on Netflix.)
I signed up for their email list, entertaining the thought that I might pay a visit to their congregation at some point. The other day, I got an email regarding a new Bible study that a neighboring congregation is kicking off in September. The Belmont United Methodist Church is beginning a multi-week companion study to “For The Bible Tells Me So”. They plan on tackling all of today’s tough issues regarding the LGBT community and the Church.
Other churches would do well to take note of this outreach. Ignoring the current social issues of our time will do little to remain relevant in our communities. It seems that churches–even some that are full of affirming believers–remain silent on this topic. It’s time to talk about homosexuality and how it relates to our faith today! If any of you in the Nashville area would like to consider attending this study, the following excerpt from the UMC website has their contact info:
THIS I KNOW: A STUDY ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY AND CHRISTIANITY – This I Know (www.thisiknowstudy.org) is a small-group resource created to encourage constructive conversation on the issue of homosexuality and Christianity. This multi-week study will take place at Belmont UMC in room 124 on September 11 from 4:00-6:30 p.m., and then on September 18, 25, October 2, 16, 23, and 30, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. The study was developed as a companion to For the Bible Tells Me So, the award-winning documentary that tells how five ordinary Christian families have coped with the realization of having a gay child. Understandably, many Christians shy away from this topic that has become controversial and divisive in many church communities. The goal of this study is to encourage learning, listening, and dialogue through study of scripture, history, social context, personal story, and theological reflection. To register for the class or get more information, contact Pam Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-383-0832.
I will be attending as many of the classes as possible. And of course, I plan to recap all discussions right here on the blog.