Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Justice & Education Resource for Clergy, Congregations

For Immediate Release
Contact: Tim Palmer, mobile 914.438.4127




Free Download; Complimentary Printed Copies Available for Limited Time


WESTPORT, CT, February 18, 2009 – The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing today announced the publication of a new resource to enable religious leaders and faith communities to preach, teach and advocate for sexual justice.  Copies are available for download or ordering from www.religiousinstitute.org/health.html.


A Time to Every Purpose: The Language of Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing is a compendium of progressive theological statements on a range of sexuality issues, including marriage for same-sex couples, assisted reproductive technologies, abortion, adolescent sexuality, sexuality education, and sexual and gender diversity.   The statements – the collaborative product of more than 60 theologians, clergy, ethicists and scholars from a range of faith traditions – were originally published as a series of Open Letters to Religious Leaders, beginning in 2002.  The new publication also includes the Religious Institute’s founding document, the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, first published in 1999.


 "Progressive religious leaders are called to be pastors for sexual health and prophets for sexual justice, "  said Rev. Debra W. Haffner, director of the Religious Institute.   " To do both roles effectively, they need language to counter the conservative voices that no longer own the conversation about sexuality.  A Time to Every Purpose offers theologically informed, scientifically grounded arguments that reflect how faith can embrace the holiness of our sexuality. "  


A Time to Every Purpose includes historical information and statistical data to establish the social and economic contexts for each of the sexuality issues addressed.  It also provides responsive readings for use in congregational worship, as well as study group questions and lists of resources. 


 "We hope that the language, data and other information in this publication will inform sermons, inspire public witness and promote congregational action, "  Rev. Haffner said. 


Complimentary printed copies of A Time to Every Purpose are available to religious professionals for a limited time.  Please send name, congregation and mailing address to info@religiousinstute.org. Additional print copies are available for $19.95 each (bulk rates available)  from Lifequest Publications.  To order, call (419) 872-7448.


The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, based in Westport, CT, is a nonprofit, multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society.  More than 4,400 clergy, seminary presidents and deans, religious scholars and other religious leaders representing more than 50 faith traditions are part of the Religious Institute’s national network.


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