More Feedback from Ros and Jane
"...I found The structure of the course helpful. The five subject headings and sessions set out in the letter I prepared flowed naturally and logically one after the other. I thought that there was a helpful mix of Bible study, and discussion prompted by questions in the material. One of the most interesting aspect was the number of short videos we watched of various people's experiences and relationships which then prompted discussion amongst the group. Some of the videos were same-sex couples talking about their relationship and commitment to each other.
I found myself reflecting on what Jesus would have said to the people in the videos if he were listening to their stories today and how he would have responded to them. I found it difficult to believe that he would not have shown them compassion and understanding and I think that he would have wanted them to have been accepted by the church for who they were and what they have to offer."
‘It is hard to start any sort of conversation when your conversation partner believes, in all sincerity,
that your aim is to silence them.’ – Rowan Williams, ‘Writing in the Dust’.
I was really looking forward to attending the LLF course and would highly recommend it. Indeed, since the whole Church has been asked to express its views, I think it vital for individual members of congregations to become as well informed as they can on the subject. The material we studied is impressive and, vitally, neither expresses an opinion as to the way ahead nor suggests ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways of thinking.
Having had only a little personal contact with LGBTQ+ folk, I found it particularly helpful to watch videos of a wide range of people sharing their experiences and stating their views on the right way forward for them. This they did in all cases without knocking the views of those who reach opposing conclusions. Indeed this was one of the big points that I took away from the course – we all need to listen with respect to those whose views are different from our own, ready to accept the authenticity of different positions even while maintaining our own opinion. On issues of sexual/gender diversity we cannot bury our heads in the sand, decisions have to be made; the question is, ‘how best do we come to those decisions and can we do so without causing schism in the Church’?
On a more negative front, I found it disappointing that comparatively few people attended the course and those who did so tended to veer towards the more ‘liberal’ end of the spectrum. As a result, there was little opportunity to practise the art of gently listening to someone with whom I profoundly disagreed, accepting the validity of their views and not seeking to change them to my own! It seems to me that this is the skill we are all going to need to learn if the Church is to move forward in unity.