August 7-8, 2019 Dallas, Texas
In the wake of the passing of the Traditional Plan continuing to prohibit the marrying and ordination of homosexuals at the Special Session of the General Conference (February) and the Judicial Council rulings upholding some of the punitive elements of that plan (April), United Methodist scholars who support the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons in the full life of the church are gathering for a public conversation. Our hope is to bring biblical, theological, practical/pastoral theological, moral/ethical, and historical insights to help the work of those who seek a form of our church free from the existing restrictions against gay and lesbian ordinations and marriages and the further restrictions imposed by the Traditional Plan.
Participants will reflect a variety of theological perspectives but will be united in a progressive social vision that 1) includes a concern to help the emergence of a form of our church free from existing and newly imposed restrictions regarding gay and lesbian people 2) as part of the calling of the gospel of Jesus Christ meant to erase all forms of oppression and marginalization.
While participation in the gathering will be limited to scholars, the intended audience is the wider church. We hope to help fund the difficult conversations about ways to move on and/or move out now that the "Way Forward" failed and moved the denomination backward. This will be achieved by live streaming the event, maintaining recordings of presentations online, publishing text versions of presentations and conversations online, and/or perhaps producing resources to help the church continue to shape the conversation. These resources could be used in Christian education settings, clergy gatherings, and congregational/regional discussions about next steps.