May Newsletter 2012

Dear Friends

Here are a few pieces of news from around the world this month and an important invitation… 

AE Annual Meeting 

You are warmly invited to our 3rd Annual Meeting in London next month:

  • ·         Saturday  9th June
  • ·         2 – 4pm
  • ·         St Andrews Church Waterloo
  • ·         less than 5 minutes walk  from either Waterloo Station or Southwark Tube (Jubilee Line)

 

All members of Accepting Evangelicals are warmly invited to

  • ·         pray and worship together
  • ·         review the past year and discuss ideas for the year ahead,
  • ·         appoint trustees and steering group for the coming year

 

St Andrew’s church is on Short Street (SE1 8LJ) which is just opposite the famous Young Vic Theatre. 

If you are able to come, it would help us if you could let us know by email:  benny@acceptingevangelicals.org

See this link for information on how to find the venue –  St Andrews Waterloo.  

Same-sex Marriage debate continues …

Thank you to everyone who contacted us about AE’s position statement on same-sex Marriage.  The Steering Group will be meeting soon to review our statement in the light of your comments.  On the whole, the comments have been positive.

The UK Government’s consultation on same-sex Marriage continues until 14th June – if you would like to contribute there is an on-line response which is very easy to do.  You can find it at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/

International news round-up…

USA

There have been several significant developments in the USA recently:

  • ·         Dr Robert Spitzer – whose 2001 study into ‘re-orientation’ therapies has been held up as evidence in favour of ex-gay ministries – has retracted his findings saying that the conclusions that he drew were not supported by the evidence. http://www.truthwinsout.org/news/2012/04/24542/
  • ·         On the same day that North Carolina voted to ban all recognition of gay unions, President Obama went on air to say (for the first time) that he supports the right of same-sex couples to marry.
  • ·         At the United Methodist Church General Conference, attempts to engage in ‘holy conversations’ on sexuality ended in acrimony with LGB&T delegates saying they had been variously ignored, abused and shouted down. (Report here).  The Conference later voted to reaffirm the church’s traditional teaching in a motion which includes the paragraph “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consideres this practice incompatible with Christian teaching”.
  • ·         Tony Campolo’s blog,  Red Letter Christians’ has posted a helpful article by Derek Flood called “What does Jesus think about Homosexuality?”  Here’s a taster… “We can argue over what the Bible says about homosexuality, but one thing is utterly clear: Jesus clearly teaches us to love people, not to hate them, not to make them feel hated, and not to stand by while that is happening. From the perspective of the New Testament there simply is no room for doubt on this. We know exactly where Jesus stands. He stands on the side of the least, the condemned, the vulnerable.”

Ireland

At the Church of Ireland’s General Synod, chaos has broken out after a motion on marriage, sexuality and clergy requirements was introduced, withdrawn, and re-introduced in the space of 48 hours.  The motion says that marriage is the only normative context for sexual intercourse and marriage can only take place between one man and one woman.  It also reminds the church that  

“Members of the Church of Ireland are required by the Catechism to keep their bodies in ‘temperance, soberness and chastity’. Clergy are called in the Ordinal to be ‘wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Jesus Christ’.”

Opponents of the motion have written an open letter to members of General Synod. 

The Archbishop of Dublin is now prosing the motion and arguing that the word ‘normative’ should not be understood in such a way as to call other expressions as ‘abnormal’.  The motion also calls for a Select Committee to be set up to take conversations forward, and the seconder of the motion is describing it as creating a ‘safe space’ for continuing conversations on sexuality.  It remains to be seen whether opponents are reassured. The revised debate is due to take place as we are writing this.

 UK

As we reported in the AE Blog, last month saw a flurry of activity in the church around same-sex relationships, Civil Partnerships and Marriage.  If you missed it, follow this link for details of the Times letter, the Archbishop of Wales statement and others.

 God Bless and Keep You…

Accepting Evangelicals

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2 Comments

  1. An update on the Church of Ireland story.

    The re-introduced motion was passed by Synod:

    Voting was: Clergy 81-53 in favour, Laity 154-60 in favour, Bishops 10-2

  2. From one of our members:

    Please encourage your supporters to sign this petition to show support for gay Christians in the Church of Ireland who have taken a courageous and principled stand against homophobia and a gay witch-hunt in the Church of Ireland.

    http://8anoway.com/

    thank you

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