Natalie Williams, PhD Drew ’15, will lead a lunchtime conversation about the everyday ethics of family life. We will delve deep into the fraught relationship between what a particular denomination or individual church SAYS about an issue and what ministers of the Gospel on the ground must DO to care for their people. Williams suggests that pastoral care approaches that are in conflict with policy can serve to both alleviate and reinforce the shame that accompanies doctrines of sexuality and family.
We will encounter the following questions:
What are the lived effects of Christian institutional policies on matters of sexuality and the family?
Who (or what) should Christian communities trust as a source of authority on the family?
What role should doctrinal or policy statements play as sources of authority?
Williams uses divorce as the primary case study, putting the anti-divorce Jesus statements from the Gospels together with Pope Francis’ approach of softening the tone of exclusionary theological positions of the Catholic church regarding divorce, annulments, LGBTQ persons, and women’s roles in ministry. We may also discuss relevant corollaries to the UMC’s continuing conflict on the position of LGBTQ persons in leadership, in particular the continued inclusion of the statement that
“homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
- This event has passed.