So a couple days ago I participated in a dialogue panel discussion put on by the fabulous folks at Transform MN. For more than two hours we discussed questions on how relevant the church is and is not in teaching the topics of Marriage, Sexuality and Human Relationship.
The line-up of pastoral clout and Doctoral expertise sitting on either side of me, left me feeling just the slightest bit intimidated.
But, regardless of titles and certificates, our shared commonalities soon became evident. We all had a passion to discuss these topics. With our varying background, experience and research the pastors, professor and I tackled questions like:
- How can we connect sexuality and spirituality and will it affect relationships?
- Among young adults, what are the most common relationship challenges you see?
- How do we help people have healthier relationships between men and women?
- Does marriage affect the development of children?
- What is the impact of divorce/separation, cohabiting or non-marriage on society?
Each person held a unique wisdom. Each voice stretched the audience in unique directions. Each moment was pregnant with tension and anticipation.
I think I could have kept going for another two hours, but our experienced moderator, Carl kept us from getting too carried away.
I am one who loves questions and what they reveal. I work ferociously to create space for people to ask questions. I see engaging with questions as an invitation to learn.
On this day I was asked to be on the answer side to the questions, which was different for me and I came to the table feeling both honored and humbled.
People really want to learn on these topics. And you know what’s fascinating? When marriages and relationships are in trouble, research continues to show that people trust the church first.
As I left the stage questions began to rise up inside: Are we willing to continue to engage with this topic? Can we learn a language that is relevant to the culture? And how might it impact future generations?
A feeling of hopefulness seems to have ignited within me that day and this same feeling continues to linger even now. These conversations are happening. And I so very hopeful that there will be more.
Thank you Transform MN, I feel quite grateful to have had the chance to add my voice to this important conversation…
Would you consider adding your voice to the conversation? If you have a thoughts on how the church could address the topics of Marriage, Sexuality and Human Relationships, either write a comment or drop me an email. I am listening…
PS Transform Minnesota often puts their discussions up online for the public to listen to. I’ll let you know if they do this event too!