On Monday, reGROUP launched a Sixty Minute Seminar series on some of the most important topics facing our city and our community. Almost 300 hundred people showed up to kick off the series. Sharon Hersh gave a great introduction for how to approach the issues we intend to tackle each week. We started with The Core Problem, which, as it turns out, is us. So whatever categories of problems or issues we talk about in the next 11 weeks, Sharon was calling us to see both our beauty and the brokenness that resides in each of us. In order to bring The Core Problem into focus, we need to start with ourselves. We need to see ourselves more clearly. We need to see both our own beauty and our brokenness in light of the cross. Only then will we be ready to talk about the problems we face in topics such as: addiction, sexuality, sexual orientation, anxiety, depression, disordered eating… the list goes on.
This reality is of utmost importance as we prepare for this week’s topic: Sexual Orientation. There are few topics in recent memory that hold so much tension inside and outside the Church. Therefore, I think it’s important right up front to point out what this seminar will not be before I say what it could be.
This will not be Summit taking a position on sexual orientation and how to move forward in “the great debate.” It will not be an attempt to create a script for how to have a conversation with someone who is gay affirmative or someone who is not affirmative of people who are gay. Nor is this seminar meant to move us theologically anywhere except deeper into God and His story.
So what will this seminar on sexual orientation be? We will get to hear Sharon Hersh’s perspective on what is important to know, regardless of where we are starting from, in this very important conversation that is happening in our culture right now. Over the 60 minutes she will offer us categories to help us think through the topic of sexual orientation. Sharon will also offer us language that will help us to have conversations—conversations that will hopefully lead to confession, which will lead to connection and ultimately to communion.
Some of us may come away with a better understanding of our own sexual identity. Some of us may come away with a better way to engage someone we love who has questions about their sexual identity. Some of us may even come away with renewed compassion for those who know exactly where they stand on the issue and are hurting people whom Jesus died for.
I’m making a prediction right now. For those who are so courageous, this seminar will almost certainly open up new space for God to work in us and through us. You can’t go wrong with that.
Written by guest blogger Jack West.