The Listening Process

The Section Headings

Section 1. The Mission of the Church.

The aim of the Lambeth Conference is to prepare Bishops for God’s mission in the modern world. This section will be the common ground.

We ask for contributions on how the church should engage in mission to gay and lesbian people and with gay and lesbian people.

Contributors are asked to consider these marks of mission, agreed as part of the five marks of mission of the Anglican Communion:

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society

Section 2. The Witness of the Bible.

  • We ask for study of hermeneutical approaches and relevant Bible texts.
  • You may offer reflections on hermeneutical methodology.
  • You may submit reflections on specific verses or on the thrust of the Biblical witness.

For many, this will focus on the understanding of homosexuality in the Bible, but it could be a reflection on the manner of loving service, on the significance of marriage, or on the biblical understanding of human identity.

This section will be split into 2 parts within the text.

Section 3. The Witness of Tradition.

We seek contributions on such questions as:

  • Has the tradition of the church remained static on sexual relationships?
  • How has the church moved on in its understanding of the role of issues such as women priests and slavery and does this have any relevance for our attitude to lesbian and gay Christians?

Section 4. Homosexuality and Science.

The Lambeth Conferences since 1978 have called for scientific study to inform the debate.

  • We ask for contributions from those who have expertise in medical science and psychotherapy.
  • We will take notice of geneticists, medical experts, therapists.
  • We ask for the experience of gay and lesbian people, including those who have struggled with unwanted same sex attraction and their experiences of therapy.

Section 5. Homosexuality and Culture

  • We ask for contributions from around the communion. We will seek to understand how human sexuality is understood in the diverse cultures of the communion.
  • We will also ask how can we talk across cultures and inculturate our understandings.

Section 6. Sexuality and Identity.

What does it mean to say we have our identity in Christ?

The St Andrew’s Day Statement said:

“Our sexual affections can no more define who we are than can our class, race or nationality.”

Is this a reality for us? How does this relate to the wider Biblical understanding of humanity.

We ask for reflections of those who have experience of victimisation and diminishment due to their ethnicity or gender and seek to ask if there is any relationship with the victimisation of gay and lesbian Christians.

Section 7. Sexuality and Spirituality

  • We ask for contributions on how marriage enriches our personal and corporate spirituality.
  • We seek reflections on the impact of gay partnerships on marriage.

We are aware of the huge contribution gay and lesbian Christians in the mission and ministry of the church and we would like reflections on what, if any, specific contribution to spirituality for the whole church has come form and is available to from those who are attracted to people of the same sex.

Section 8. Developing Skills in Listening

How can we as a church enable listening in safe space and common ground?

We seek best practice and stories of listening.

We specifically want to hear how listening can happen in places where homosexuality is illegal or the prevailing culture is hostile or even dangerous for gay and lesbian people.

See the guidelines for contributions be for making a submission.