We can keep talking. In this conversation about sexuality, as with all of the other brave conversations, the goal is not to convince people of our beliefs or change anyone’s mind about the topic. It’s not the time for proof-texting scripture or for debating theological interpretations of the Bible. Rather, the purpose of this session is simply to listen—even if we might feel a little uncomfortable—for as long as we are able to do this brave work. I believe it is possible to keep talking about sexual orientation and gender identity with fellow Christians, even those with whom we disagree, if we can cultivate affection for one another and listen with compassion.
—Elizabeth Hagan, Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together (Upper Room Books, 2021)
What spiritual practices help you cultivate affection and compassion? Join the conversation.
Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
—Romans 12:10 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Lord, grant me the patience and grace to listen, the courage and wisdom to question and speak; and the bravery to create safe space for tough topics.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Churches are not immune to violence, as we have seen from shootings at houses of worship across the nation. The challenge for faith communities is how to prepare for and respond to potential violence. In Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, author Rosalind Hughes asks congregational leaders to examine whether their operational and security policies are consistent with gospel values. Learn more here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.