Welcome members to the group.
Introduction to this session
Genesis 1:26–28a reminds us that God created sex and sexuality. The stories of creation from many other traditions relate human sexuality to God’s original work of creation as well as being a continuing blessing upon us from generation to generation. In many such stories, sexuality is shown to fulfill the function of procreation. In others it fulfills the need for order and stability in community. And in others it provides comfort and companionship. In some traditions, the original act of sexuality is shown to have introduced the burden of broken relationships between God and us and among one another.
In this session we reflect on creation narratives from different traditions. We will listen for patterns or rhythms that may emerge and take note of any common or diverging values that may shape people’s attitudes about sex.
Remind people of their norms.
Discuss the following questions in groups of 2 or 3 people that you are not related to.
- What creation story or stories other than those found in the Bible have you heard of?
- What are the main features of your story (or stories) and how do they compare with the biblical story?
- Share your responses with the larger group.
- What are some of the ways in which themes of sexuality are incorporated into the stories of creation?
Looking at stories of creation from different parts of the world
Review the following stories of creation (download):
- A First-Nations Canadian Creation Story
- An African Creation Story
- A Chinese Creation Story
- A South Pacific Creation Story
Further (preparatory) readings:
Marie-Louise Von Franz, Creation Myths
Virginia Hamilton, In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World
Creation and Other Stories, First People’s Theology Journal, Vol.2, No.1, Sept. 2001
In small groups — each with one or more of the creation stories
- Read the stories aloud twice either as a group or ask one member to read.
- As a group, retell the stories in your own words. Try not to look at the text if you have copies in front of you.
- What do the stories say to us about sex, sexuality and creation?
- How do these stories compare with the biblical stories?
Share responses with the larger group.
- Questions for the whole group to reflect on:
- What are some of the images of sexuality found in these stories?
- What do the stories tell us about the values of the communities from which they come?
- In what ways do the stories make reference to:
— sexual ethics?
— human relationships and community?
— our relationship with God?
- In what ways are the stories about something other or more than sex?
Ending (see the Basic Programme Outline)