Did You Follow the World Church Conference on Sexuality?
The General Conference recently convened a conference in South Africa to discuss “alternative sexualities” with 350 invited church workers, scholars and leaders of several supporting ministries from around the world. The Visitor plans to discuss the results of the meetings in our July issue. Below Columbia Union members react to the meeting:
“This is a much needed and overdue conversation in the Adventist Church. I just hope we keep striving toward keeping ourselves on the front end when dealing with social issues and not wait until we are forced to react to social issues. This is an issue where Adventists can be relevant and effectively minister for God’s children. … I hope as a result of this conference there will be quick tips, how to’s and simple training steps to equip me to be a better and relevant friend/pastor.”—Mark Sigue, youth pastor of Chesapeake Conference’s Frederick (Md.) church
“I am sad to say that I did not follow the conference. However, we are long overdue for conversations on how to love people where they are and help them through their struggles. Growing up with a sister who is gay makes this topic very near and dear to my heart. … No Christian walked with her through her struggle except family and friends. … I saw my sister through three suicide attempts because she could not stop being who she was. There is no easy answer to this topic—the only answer is Jesus and … how He loved [people].”—Lori Farr, pastor of Ohio Conference’s Wooster, Canton and Carrollton churches
“This is a topic that needed to be discussed by the church so that society and other communities of faith will know where we stand on this controversial issue. … When it comes to homosexuality, the Bible’s stance is very clear that God is against such practices. I do agree that those who choose to live a homosexual lifestyle should not be discriminated against, whether it is social, political or economic. Churches, especially the Adventist Church, should welcome every sinner with open arms.”—Pastor Cory R. Rowe, pastor of Allegheny West Conference’s Hillcrest church in Dayton, Ohio