TABLE TALKS: Finding a Way Forward
United Methodists in the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences are being encouraged to participate in Table Talk conversations being planned in various settings across the Greater Northwest Area. These opportunities will provide attendees a way to engage the church’s current discussion of human sexuality and the report of the Commission on a Way Forward within a structure of worship and respect for one another.
To develop that sense of respect, participants are asked to commit to a covenant for respectful dialog. In short, the covenant asks them to:
Be Kind, and to
Listen with the same amount of passion with which I want to be heard.
Both worship and a covenant for respectful dialog are essential when we ask for God to be present in our conversations and recognize that we can sometimes get in the way of that. All across the area are asked to seriously consider participating in one of these opportunities.
Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky sees that respectful dialog as a key to helping the church move forward, both here in the northwest, and globally. “Christians don’t need to beat each other up when we disagree.” she says, “If you love your church, and want it to see its mission witness remain strong around the world, I hope you will come to one of the Table Talks. If you are sick and tired of opposing sides in the church fighting about human sexuality, and who should be welcome in the Church, I hope you will come to one of the Table Talks. We can find a deeper unity, and new ways of listening to God and one another.”
Here is an invitation from our Bishop:
Here are the opportunities across Alaska.
April 14 Anchor Park UMC, Anchorage 9 am - 1 pm
April 21 Soldotna UMC, Soldotna 9 am - 1 pm
April 28 Turnagain UMC, Anchorage 9 am - 1 pm
April 29 Christ First UMC, Wasilla 1:30 - 5:30 pm
May 5 First UMC, Anchorage 9 am - 1 pm
May 5 Aldersgate UMC, Juneau 1:30 - 5:30 pm
May 12 First UMC, Fairbanks 9 am - 1 pm
Pastor Jim will drive interested persons to the Soldotna Event on April 21st. But--VERY IMPORTANT--you need to register so that the event planners know there are enough participants to have a good discussion.