A further response on the issue of homosexuality and Christian faith.
I was grateful for the letter in the last newsletter by Amber Strong and Nathan Parry. I confess to being dismayed by Briar Whitehead's letter about gay people, and also felt it was a little out of step with the 'wondering' spirit of spirited exchanges. Briar's letter made me feel tired - such certainty takes some effort to combat, and frankly I feel I have had a lifetime of battling on such issues. It felt like "oh no, here we go again....!!" Thanks Amber and Nathan for taking the effort to put your 'dis-ease' with Briar's article into writing.
And well done on the Spirited Exchanges Facilitator Weekend. I suspect a good case study for such a weekend would be how do we respond to the spirited exchange over gay people and christianity. As Amber and Nathan point out, "It's essential in a debate to have a range of opinions, but this letter wasn't presented as an opinion but rather as fact. We saw potential for the abuse of power within the stance of that letter, such as we have become sensitive to within the evangelical church." There is an art in learning how to encourage true spirited exchanges, and to discern when opinion is being disguised as fact, and how to handle this creatively.