January 13 | Separation of Church and State
January 20 | Abortion
January 27 | The Death Penalty
February 3 | Euthanasia
February 10 | Immigration Reform
February 17 | Homosexuality & Gender Issues
Our culture is more polarized than ever before, and our church community reflects this as well. We all are able to consult the same scriptures as we seek faithful guidance for questions of morality, and yet we read those scriptures differently, and reach opposing conclusions. How are we to move forward as a cohesive Christian community in these divided times?
The first step, it seems, is to (re)learn how to hold civil discussions on sensitive topics, and we will be doing that in our Crucial Conversations worship series beginning January 13. Each week we’ll dig into an issue that ignites deep passions and opposing viewpoints. Our pastors will explore the Biblical basis for each side of the issue, we’ll look into the United Methodist Social Principles, and our pastors will also shed a little insight into their own opinions.
Pairs of Chairs
The pastors will not do all of the talking in this series, your active participation is welcome. During the Sunday School hour for these six weeks, you will have the opportunity to discuss these issues with someone you may or may not know, and with whom you may or may not agree. We’ll fill Fellowship Hall with pairs of chairs and in ten-minute segments, you will be invited to sit and discuss the issue of the day – listening and learning each other’s perspectives. All are welcome in the discussion sessions and there are only two rules: 1) seek to understand, rather than convince, and 2) close in prayer together.
Where is this leading?
As you may know, The United Methodist Church has been wrestling with our official positions and policies regarding sexuality identity for decades. The conflict has become a dominant issue in our denomination’s politics, and in the interest of moving beyond this state of contention, a special General Conference of the global United Methodist Church will take place February 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri. There are proposals on the table which may have deep and lasting impact on the official position of our denomination and how we operate our church. We encourage everyone to be as informed as possible.
Sunday, February 17 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, Pastor Scott and Pastor Matt will hold a workshop on the different plans which will be presented for the Way Forward for the United Methodist Church.
Pray our Way Forward
Beginning January 13, you are invited to join the Iowa Conference Prayer vigil for the proceedings in St. Louis. We invite you to stop wherever you are and whatever you are doing at 2:23 pm and engage in a short prayer for our United Methodist Way Forward.
February 17 – 26, during the week of the special General Conference, our own First UMC chapel will be open for you to come and pray for the future of our church.
Sunday, February 24 will be set aside as a day of prayer at all three of our worship services. At the same time that we are gathering here, in Cedar Falls, the General Conference delegates will be meeting in St. Louis, and we will support them with our prayers that their discussions be led by reason, wisdom, and first, love.