Holy Conversations planned to update conference members on sexuality debate

January 26, 2018
By Alan Wild
Bishop Leonard Fairley and Rev. Julie Love, director of Connectional Ministries, are holding meetings in each KAC district over the next few months to discuss the Commission on the Way Forward’s work on human sexuality.

The series of meetings, titled Holy Conversations, is designed to update the public across the KAC on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. The meetings will kick off in the Lexington District on Feb. 12 and will wrap up in the South Central District on May 22. All clergy and laity are encouraged to attend.

“It’s basically a learning time about the work of the commission,” said Rev. Love, a member of the 32-member group made up of UMC clergy and laity that has been meeting periodically since January 2017 regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ people in the United Methodist Church.

The commission will make a report to the Council of Bishops ahead of a special General Conference that will take place in early 2019. The conferees then will vote on proposals that the bishops have approved. Those recommendations are still being formulated.

Bishop Fairley said the meetings are designed to update KAC clergy and laity on the commission’s work. They’re “not so much to hear our positions as to share with the people in Kentucky of our process,” the bishop said.

At each meeting, attendees will have a chance to ask questions after a presentation from the bishop and Rev. Love. There also will be a time for small-group discussion, Rev. Love said.

The bishop said the meetings are an opportunity for people to meet “in a non-anxious type of spirit” and added that he and Rev. Love welcome the opportunity to address hard but respectfully presented questions and concerns.

To that end, Rev. Love reiterated three simple ground rules they will follow at the meetings: “Do good, do no harm, and stay in love with God.”

“We’re not trying to change anyone’s mind about anything,” she said. “We’re just learning how to have a conversation.”
Holy Conversation is a series of 90-minute meetings to be held in each of the KAC’s nine districts to update the public on the Commission on a Way Forward’s work. Here is the complete schedule and location:

Lexington: Monday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m., Wesley UMC, 1825 Russell Cave Road, Lexington.
Heartland: Tuesday, Feb. 13, 6:30 p.m., Christ Church, 4614 Brownsboro Road, Louisville.
South East: Monday, March 5, 6:30 p.m., Grace on the Hill UMC, 1632 Cumberland Falls Hwy, Corbin.
Northern Kentucky: Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m., Immanuel Boone County Campus, 1440 Boone Aire Road, Florence.
Kentucky East: Monday, April 16, 6:30 p.m., Louisa UMC, 816 Pine Hill Road, Louisa.
Bluegrass: Tuesday, April 17, 6:00 p.m., Danville Centenary, 1441 Perryville Road.
Pennyrile: Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m., Ogden Memorial UMC, 305 W. Main St., Princeton.
Owensboro: Thursday, April 26, 6:30 p.m., Settle Memorial, 201 E. Fourth St., Owensboro.
South Central: Tuesday, May 22, 6:30 p.m., Glasgow First UMC, 500 S. Green St., Glasgow.

To read all the news releases on the Commission on a Way Forward, go to: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/commission-on-a-way-forward