Friday, August 17, 2007

New human sexuality resources online


AUGUST 17, 2007 -- Canadian Anglicans continue to study how human sexuality intersects with their faith, and new online resources now are available to support this study. The Faith, Worship, and Ministry department has reorganized and expanded their website's collection, including links, timelines, and downloadable studies.

"At General Synod 2007, one of the critical calls that we heard over and over again was that people wanted more time to study. I wanted to make sure that this material was readily accessible," said Rev. Canon Dr. Linda Nicholls, Coordinator for Dialogue, who organized the material and wrote the introductions.

Many resources address the topic of same-sex blessings. A quick primer of General Synod resolutions brings readers up to speed, and the resource guide from Faith, Worship, and Ministry is a way to venture further. Among the many resources online are a bibliography for independent readers and a PowerPoint presentation of General Synod 2007 resolutions prepared by the diocese of Huron.

But the topic of sexuality is more than just same-sex blessings. "One of the cries we have heard is that the same-sex blessings issue needs to be seen in the larger picture of human sexuality, which we have not, for the most part, talked about," said Canon Nicholls. A marriage study is one resource that begins these conversations with sessions on cohabitation and divorce.

"Every community has a doorway into talking about human sexuality," she explained, listing monogamy, singleness, and in vitro fertilization as issues that affect Canadian Anglicans. "I think there's the potential to really engage people in the church, from teenagers right through seniors, and really ask, 'so what does sexuality mean?'"

The Faith, Worship, and Ministry committee will discuss these broader questions of human sexuality when they meet in October 2007. Canon Nicholls said that one way to explore the topic is to sit down with people who have different opinions, perhaps members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, who are tackling similar issues.

Issues around human sexuality‹especially in the church‹often raise eyebrows and ruffle feathers, but Canon Nicholls wants your feedback on the resources. "There are real live people at the other end of those email addresses who are happy to respond and hear people's concerns and comments," she said. "Those comments feed into what we do as we prepare for the next General Synod. All comments are taken seriously."


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