The following resources offer a range of materials to assist Anglicans to continue discussion and reflection on issues related to homosexuality and the blessing of same-sex unions. These resources are readily available, either on the internet or for purchase. The materials included have been developed for use in Anglican, Lutheran, or Episcopal churches. This is not an exhaustive list.
SECTION ONE: BEGINNING THE CONVERSATION
Resources for groups holding their first discussions around the areas of homosexuality, same-sex blessings and marriage.
HEARING DIVERSE VOICES, SEEKING COMMON GROUND
- Anglican resource published by ABC – 1994
- Video clips, papers – outline for sessions, guided discussion questions & reflections
- Excellent material on Adult education models; discussion guidelines and framework for facilitators
- Video clips present speakers from a broad spectrum of positions and include bishops, clergy, and lay people
- NOTE: Original biblical material has been revised and extended by Prof. Terry Donaldson See: “Seeking to be faithful in the uneasy middle“.
AN HONOURABLE ESTATE: Marriage, Same-sex Unions, and the Church
- Study Guide written 1998 – Permanent Commitments Group, Church of the Redeemer, Toronto
- Study sections on marriage, singleness, & celibacy, Bible & homosexuality and same-sex couple in the Church
- Supportive of same-sex couples
WRITTEN ON THE HEART: The Bible for Anglicans in the 21st Century
- Not specifically about issues of sexuality but addresses the way Anglicans use scripture
- Video and study guide – written by Faith, Worship & Ministry Department
- Produced by Anglican Video 2003
- Interviews of individual Anglicans across the country – responses and further dialogue by panel group
- For parish discussion; easy to access
MARRIAGE: An Exploration of Marriage in Church and Society
- Prepared by Faith, Worship & Ministry
- 6 week parish study.
- Available online (PDF format)
SECTION TWO: FURTHERING THE CONVERSATION
Resources with further depth on particular areas of discussions of scripture, human sexuality, Anglican identity, marriage and church.
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF TORONTO – SAME SEX CONSULTATIONS
- Available on Diocese of Toronto website.
- From consultations held in Spring 2004
- Series of presentations – 2 speakers from differing perspectives in each area:
- Authority & Ecclesiology
- History & Theology of Marriage
- History & Theology of Sexuality
- Liturgies & Blessings
- Transcripts of oral presentations
- Varying depth
- Includes an annotated bibliography produced by Diocesan Same Sex Consultation Group, noting study material from differing viewpoints – proposed by Canon Eric Beresford and Rev. Dr. Dean Mercer
ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF EDMONTON – Resources
- List of resources on website (www.edmonton.anglican.org) in following categories: An Introduction from Bishop Victoria Matthews with Prayer
Anglican Understanding of Authority
The Authority of Scripture
Civil Law Consideration
Interpretation of Scripture Theology of Marriage
- Resources include web links, books, papers, other references
- Suitable for individuals or groups – in-depth writing, no study guides
EASTERN NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR – Bible Study
- Two study programs:
Section 1 Sexuality in Scripture;
Section 2: Homosexuality in Contemporary Experience
- Includes biblical material with questions; reference to video resources; discussion suggestions
SOME ISSUES IN HUMAN SEXUALITY: A guide to the debate
- Discussion document from the Church of England House of Bishops’ Group on Issues in Human Sexuality – Church of England, Published 2003 – Church House Publishing
- Extensive book (350 pgs) giving background to the current debate; nature of the current debate and responses in life of the church; exhaustive discussion
- Even-handed review of differing perspectives
- Chapters include:
- Current debate on sexuality
- Use of the Bible in sexual ethics
- Theology of sexuality
- Homosexuality and biblical teaching
- Gender identity, sexual identity, and theology
- Homosexuals, bisexuals, and transsexuals in the life of the Church
- Handling some current controversies over sexual morality
- Selected bibliography
- Also published: A Companion to Some Issues in Human Sexuality – a brief study guide, questions
- Available through Anglican Book Centre
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN CANADA
- ELCIC Social Statement on Human Sexuality
Approved at 2011 ELCIC National Convention, July 15, 2011
- Studies on Homosexuality and the Church 1995 – updated 2001– thorough investigation including general study guide available on the web.
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH in AMERICA
- Journey Together Faithfully: Parts One (2002) & Two (2003) & Three (2007)
- Background essays for Journey Together Faithfully: Introducing a Resource on Scientific Research; Background Essay on Biblical Texts
- NEW Part 3 focuses more broadly on sexuality and other areas of life through a study of Galatians.
- All of the above are very thorough pieces of work, available on the internet and in hard copy.
Diocese of New Westminster has information on the extensive process it has engaged in over since 1997 in dialogue on the issue of the blessing of same-sex unions. The website includes synodical decisions, the process of decision making, and a process for parish twinning for dialogue.
- The following papers prepared for the Faith and Doctrine Commission by the Rev. Dr. William Crockett, Dr. Edith Humphrey and Canon Eric Beresford are available from the Diocese of New Westminster or Faith, Worship, and Ministry:
- The Interpretation of Scripture and Human Sexuality
What is disordered sexuality?
- Homosexuality in Scripture, Tradition and Contemporary Theology
What Would It Mean for the Church to Bless Same-Sex Unions?
- The Interpretation of Scripture and Human Sexuality
- Stories of Lesbian and Gay Christians – 13 personal stories – available from the Diocese of New Westminster
Diocese of Algoma has produced a Study On the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions.
The study package consists of a video tape and a parish study book. The video tape is a 5-part debate on the blessing of same-sex unions, and the study book is divided into the same 5categories as the debate, with additional reading and discussion questions for each part. It can be done in one day or as a five-week discussion series.
It is available through the Diocese of Algoma by contacting Heather Manuel at [email protected] or the phone number (705) 641-8787.
- Additional Bibliography UPDATED.
Each of the following reports has been commended to the Anglican Church for study, comment and action as appropriate.
- The Virginia Report: The Report of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission, 1999 Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, PA.
A study of the nature of the Anglican Communion and authority within it.
- The Windsor Report: The Lambeth Commission on Communion, 2004 Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, PA. A report of the commission requested by the Anglican Primates to consider ways of sustaining communion in light of the deep divisions raised by decisions in the Diocese of New Westminster and the Episcopal Church of the USA.
- The St. Michael Report: The Primate’s Theological Commission (Anglican Church of Canada), 2005 Anglican Book Centre. A report on the question of whether or not the issue of blessing same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine.