(Nashville, TN) – Questions and conflict about same-gender relationships and the church abound. There is talk in congregations, at preachers’ meetings and connectional church gatherings; and in the deliberations of the Council of Bishops where we hear prayers, questions, and outpourings of conviction or anguish.
The United Methodist Church is grappling with issues of importance that divide and confound laity and clergy. They hunger for the church to engage hard questions with rigorous thinking and deep prayer and in a spirit of generosity, gracefulness, and mutual respect.
A new book Finding Our Way: Love and Law in The United Methodist Church, published by Abingdon Press, is aimed at enunciating and clarifying pathways that represent faithful, responsible, and constructive ways forward. It is co-authored by eight United Methodist bishops—Reuben P. Job, Gregory V. Palmer, Hope Morgan Ward, Melvin G. Talbert, Kenneth H. Carter Jr., J. Michael Lowry, John K. Yambasu, and Rosemarie Wenner, who each articulate a view to move readers through tensions related to views about homosexual practice, same-gender unions, qualifications for ordination, and related issues of church teaching and governance. It encourages frank and constructive dialogue and prayer to help The United Methodists conference together and open themselves to God’s guidance in seeking faithful, fair, just, and loving resolution to issues that challenge the faith community.
“We submit that the thoughtful, honest, and respectful airing of views and claims about authority and what to teach and do are in the best tradition of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren founders whose heirs have come together to form the people called United Methodist,” note Rueben P. Job, a retired United Methodist bishop, and Neil Alexander, Publisher of The United Methodist Church (and Abingdon Press). “We see this discussion as a part of a process, not as the summation or conclusion of the continuing debates.”
Readers are encouraged to engage in this important conversation at MinistryMatters.com/FindingOurWay
Abingdon Press, the publishing imprint for The United Methodist Publishing House, has a long tradition of publishing to resource robust conversations about matters of theology, church practices, and the Christian life. It is committed to providing the best, most effective religious publications available which include a wide array of quality Christian living, fiction, devotional, academic, professional, and reference titles published each year to enrich church communities across the globe. Visit them online at AbingdonPress.com.