“Generous Peacemaking”

A Sermon on Isaiah 11:1-9 and Romans 15:5-7 by Kimberly L. Clayton for Covenant Conference 2015, Friday, November 6: “‘The church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker.’ I am intrigued by this slight difference in wording. This second image does not say what we are called to be, but instead declares what we are. A peacemaker. This clause in the Confession does not call us peacemakers—a bunch of individual peacemakers, each one of us doing our part, making peace in our own little sphere, as helpful as that would be in our individual families, my neighborhood, your school, her workplace, his circle of friends.

No, listen to it again: The church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker. A big ol’ unified peacemaker. We are in this together, united, one, with one another. These days, I’m afraid, the church is called a blessed many things—but I’m fairly certain that a peacemaker is not our best known characteristic.”

“Better Than a Hallelujah”

A Sermon on Isaiah 65:17-25 and 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, 6:1-2 by Marci Auld Glass for Covenant Conference 2015, Saturday, November 7: “The Belhar Confession reminds us that we are called to proclaim this new heaven and new earth that God is about to create. But we can’t do that in a way that tells people to be okay with the pain they are experiencing NOW, or with the injustice that is breaking their backs and their souls NOW. We aren’t called to be Pollyanna and deny the truth of people’s lived experience. As Paul Roberts said the other night, we are not called to just be nice. We are called to disrupt.”

Sexuality Bibliography

Two professors at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Steven C. Roy and Robert J. Priest, are offering a course on “Contemporary Sexualities: Theological and Missiological Perspectives.” The professors have graciously provided their bibliography, which is lengthy and represents diverse perspectives; download the Sexualities bibliography for your own use.

Science, Scripture, and Same-Sex Love

A book review by Tricia Dykers Koenig: “Regele explores multiple disciplines in his search for understanding – biology, psychology, sociology, and demographics, along with biblical study, theology, and church history – and reflects on these learnings in light of his personal story. He provides an accessible survey of the science pointing to the probability that sexual orientation is innate, resulting from a combination of genetic and prenatal hormonal influences. The ethical conclusion: it is inconsistent with loving one’s LGBTQ neighbors to blame and penalize them for a characteristic they did not choose and cannot change.”

TORN: Justin Lee’s witness

Tricia Dykers Koenig suggests you read TORN: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate, by Justin Lee.

Faithful to Scripture and Open to Gay People

Looking for a concise way to explain that you support LGBTQ persons not in spite of, but because of the Bible? Download this brochure, prepared by the Rev. Steven Kurtz of First Presbyterian Church, Gulf Shores, Alabama.