Working Party on Human Sexuality

The Methodist Church in Ireland’s Faith and Order Committee has assembled a working party to reflect on issues relating to human sexuality. 

The working party includes two representatives from the Irish Methodist Youth and Children’s Department (IMYCD), and Dean John Mann, Chair of the Select Committee on Human Sexuality of the Church of Ireland.

The Working Party has received comprehensive terms of reference. These include:

  • Undertaking a fundamental review of Christian teaching on human sexuality and practice
  • Examining afresh how Holy Scripture may be faithfully interpreted in the Methodist Church in respect of issues concerning human sexuality
  • Taking due cognisance of similar work being undertaken by sister Churches both in Ireland and elsewhere.

Download Terms of Reference for Working Party on Human Sexuality

The Working Party has gone through a Connexion-wide listening process, to which those with a particular or personal interest were invited to contribute; these voices have been heard.

 

A resource document (Sexuality: Developing Good Conversation On Difficult Questions) was brought to the Conference of 2016, where the delegates engaged in facilitated conversations on the subject of human sexuality. Conference directed that this resource, together with other resources, would be used in further conversations at District and local levels.

The Working Party has now made these resources available to the Connexion and would encourage Districts and Circuits to make plans to have such conversations at a local level, as directed by Conference.

Printed copies of the booklet ‘Sexuality: Developing Good Conversation On Difficult Questions’ are now available, and will be distributed to each Circuit. These are made available free of charge. If you would like to obtain a copy please speak to your local minister or email wphs@irishmethodist.org

The resource is also available as a PDF download here:

Download ‘Sexuality: Developing Good Conversation On Difficult Questions’

In order to assist Districts and Circuits the Working Party have also provided resources to help structure local conversations. These are in the form of 4 study sessions, which would ideally happen over the course of 4 weeks.

The material for these is provided by PDF download only here:

Session 1 - Sexuality - Why This, Why Now?

Session 2 - Sexuality - Human Sexuality In Christian Perspective

Session 3 - Sexuality - Discussing Homosexuality

Session 4 - Sexuality - What Should We Do Next?

IMYC is currently working on a separate set of study sessions to help young people engage with these issues. These will be available for download here soon.

The Working Party has a number of facilitators, drawn from across the Connexion, who are prepared to be involved in facilitating local conversations. It is strongly recommended that Circuits and Districts avail of these facilitators. Please contact wphs@irishmethodist.org if you would like a facilitator to be made available to your Circuit.

The Working Party invites feedback from local conversations as we continue our work. Any submissions should be returned by the end of December 2017 using the form provided. (Form coming soon) to wphs@irishmethodist.org

To assist local conversations, and those who wish to further develop their thinking on issues of human sexuality, the Working Party has provided a list of resources which we trust will be helpful. The list includes resources from a range of different perspectives on issues of human sexuality, and are drawn both from within our own Connexion and the wider Church. Resources are in a range of formats: written, audio and video.

The list can be downloaded here: 

Resource List

A list of resources for young people will be coming soon.

Other resources on human sexuality from within the Methodist Church in Ireland include:

McCrea, F. A critical examination of homosexuality through the lens of the “Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
Fiona is a Methodist minister and a member of the MCI working party on Human Sexuality. This is her MDiv dissertation.

Williamson, J. (2016). I was a stranger and you welcomed me: a plea for inclusion and welcome in the Irish Methodist Church.
Jim is a former Old Testament tutor at Edgehill.

Duncan, M. ‘Marriage is Between One Man and One Woman’. A recording of the Headway Spring Conference 2015.
Available as an MP3 download here: https://goo.gl/5FAl8W

 

If you have any questions regarding the use of any of these resources, please contact the working party: wphs@irishmethodist.org