I serve the Church in a denomination that has been entrenched in battles over human sexuality for decades. Debates about ordination of people in active homosexual relationships, as well as about the definition or marriage, are tearing the Church apart. Seven years ago, I went to a national conference for our denomination and saw the battle taking place. Neither side listened to the other. They talked past each other. What was authoritative for one side wasn’t for the other. There was no common ground on which a debate could even fairly take place. Ever since, I’ve wondered if there could be a healthier, more constructive way for the Church to handle its debates about sexuality. Is there a better way to talk about sexual morality as Christians? Is there a better way to frame the conversation?
I think there is.
This Saturday, January 28th, Upper Room is going to host an event with anthropologist, author, and professor Jenell Williams Paris called “The End of Sexual Identity.” Paris’s book, The End of Sexual Identity, takes a unique approach to our culture’s conversation about sexuality, particularly categories like homosexuality and heterosexuality. And I think this approach could have a really positive impact on the way the Church talks about sex. For a preview of what Jenell has to say, you can listen to this interview with her.
There is more information on Upper Room’s site and you can click here to register for the event. It runs from 10am to 3:30pm. The morning and afternoon sessions will also include panel responses from a variety of people living out their sexuality in different ways. Lunch will be available through Franktuary, who will be selling hot dogs and other items on site.