A new discussion guide on human sexuality may help dioceses and parishes continue the robust, intentional dialogue modeled at General Synod 2010. At General Synod in Halifax June 3 to 11, members met in small groups to discuss sexuality in their home contexts. Then they affirmed a statement, which acknowledged that despite differing viewpoints, they desired to stay in conversation.
“Created in the Image and Likeness of God” [PDF] is a 10-page guide created in response to a request from General Synod 2007. Members asked the national office to develop a process to engage dioceses and parishes as they discuss the broader subject of human sexuality—specifically through the lenses of scripture, reason, tradition, and current scientific understanding.
The sessions cover these topics:
o Images of human sexuality in scripture
o Human sexuality in creation stories
o Human sexuality and current science
o The church’s teaching and practice
“These are simple process tools easily adaptable to small and large study groups,” explains the Rev. Canon Dr. Kawuki (Isaac) Mukasa, General Synod’s coordinator for dialogue, who staffed the project. “The resource is important because it takes a broader look at human sexuality in general rather than focusing on just the issue of homosexuality.”
Canon Mukasa said he hopes the discussion guide will be useful as the church continues to work through this challenging topic. The 2010 statement acknowledges that “We are in a time of ongoing discernment which requires mutual accountability through continuing dialogue, diocese to diocese and across the wider church. It also requires continued theological and scriptural study and dialogue on the wide range of matters relating to human sexuality.”
Download the resource or view it online. Accompanying material is also available. “Created in the Image and Likeness of God” is intended for continuous development, so Canon Mukasa welcomes feedback either by email or phone: (416) 924-9199 ext. 209.
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