Do you hope that your pastor is open, like Jake, to the life story of individuals like Cal? Why? Does your pastor know about your support?
How do you understand Jake’s (the writer) deep feelings of: a) acceptance for his son, on learning ?that he was gay?; b) regret for not having walked with his son’s childhood and adolescent sexual feelings?
For a person who has decided against sexual minorities?whose theology is written?what values might emerge from further conversation?
Gays and Lesbians in the Mennonite Church
Does Schmidt succeed in meeting the goal of his position paper? (See first paragraph) What was your response to immediately knowing his goal?
Discuss the Why questions that Schmidt poses in the last paragraph of the section titled: “Diversity in Practice …”
Discuss Schmidt’s last sentence in the first paragraph of the section titled “The Church as a Redemptive Community.”
Discuss the questions that Schmidt raises about the case studies-third paragraph of “Generalizations.”
Envisioning the Future
What other examples come to your mind of the Spirit as “untamed” or free? How does realization that a believer belongs to God, not that God belongs to a particular believer, affect attitudes toward believers who also embody a sexual minority?
If you wish for the church to “embrace the voice of healing and transformation,” how will “the test” presented by sexual minorities affect your understandings and actions?
Rempel acknowledges that seldom do critics of others’ behavior reject that behavior without also rejecting the person. Do you agree or disagree? How might you encourage your congregation to call individuals or groups to repent for the outcomes of such blurred response?