The curriculum found below would be suitable for use in a small group or discussion-based ministry. They may also provide the basis for an individual sermon or series. Please note that none of these curricula have been developed by the Virginia Methodists for A New Thing. Some resources may come from faith traditions outside of the UMC.
The Rev. Scott Hughes, director of adult discipleship at Discipleship Ministries, has adapted his Courageous Conversations materials into an outline for conversations specifically responding to General Conference. In Part One, churches engage in conversation that sets ground rules and allows everyone to express their feelings and anxieties in a non-judgmental environment. Part Two challenges participants to think critically about how God wants them to respond to the latest developments in the denomination and how they will continue to live out their mission as a church.
This study is from the Reconciling Ministries Network. They described this the following way: “This ground-breaking curriculum on the Bible and homosexuality is perfect for individual study or group discussion on sexuality and Christianity. The complete study kit includes leader and participant guides for eight sessions.”
As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to some-day share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships. Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as: • Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not? • How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate? • Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen? • What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations? Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian has sparked heated debate, sincere soul searching, and widespread cultural change on the issue of what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.
To understand a theologically-based and positive and inclusive definition of religious liberty that explains why religious liberty should not be used as a license to discriminate by the Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow.
Umoja is a Swahili word that means Unity. African-American communities, however, are deeply divided over homosexuality. Many families and congregations are unsure about supporting loved-ones who come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), especially when the Bible appears to teach otherwise. Many are brokenhearted and confused in the midst of hurtful words and damaged relationships. This study is designed to help. The Umoja Project is designed to facilitate safe, non-threatening dialogue about the diversity of human sexuality and the tension that sometimes exists within African-American faith communities in relation to LGBT individuals.
Vital Conversations 4: Race, Culture, The Church, And Human Sexuality is a video study course for small groups in congregations, campus ministries, and local and regional church leadership teams. The series features conversations between theologians, pastors, worship leaders, laity in leadership, Biblical scholars, and community activists to offer varied and multilayered perspectives on the Christian church’s ongoing debate over the status, role, and rights of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI).
Their website describes this resource this way: “This Free, On-Demand, Self-Guided online course looks at skills and concepts to help well-meaning allies begin to find our place in transgender communities. This course is a starting place and an invitation to journey with us.”
This is a more holistic guide than just related to LGBT+ issues. In particular, there are some chapters that deal more closely with this specific topic including: “Scripture and Marriage” by Katherine Grieb, “Scripture: Sexuality and Sexual Orientation” by Wil Gafney, “Arguments from Tradition” by Marilyn McCord Adams, “Ethics and Moral Theology” by Ellen K. Wondra, “Ritual Considerations in Same-Sex Marriage” by Louis Weil, and “Ramifications” by Rowan Smith.
A documentary giving voice to the witness of transgender people of faith. Courageously inviting the viewer into their journeys, the film is ultimately a celebration of hope and the power of God's love to transcend even seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Produced by Integrity’s late Communication Director Louise Brooks, the film is being offered by Integrity USA as a gift to the Episcopal Church, as a resource for both teaching and transformation.
A 44-minute video in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Episcopalians from the Los Angeles area--and their straight allies--to tell their stories. The DVD premiered during General Convention 2006 in Columbus, Ohio. Since then, thousands of copies of the DVD and study guide have been distributed. It won a Polly Bond Award in 2006 from Episcopal Communicators.
As Reconciling people, we strive to make the church a welcoming and just place for all God’s people. Many of us have engaged in the holy work of making our communities safer for lesbian, bi, and gay individuals but knowledge of how to extend the Table to the trans community has been limited. “Trans-forming the church” is meant to help you and your faith community begin the conversation about how to support trans and gender non-conforming people in your church and in society at large. Led by Rev. Liam Hooper, this ten video series builds on personal experience, scripture and theology, and gender theory to empower you to deepen your understanding of God’s call on all of us to trans-form the church. Totaling just under 30 minutes, these videos pair well with the study questions provided below making for a perfect Sunday School hour activity to kick-off your journey to supporting the trans community. We hope you will find this an enriching resource, opening your minds and hearts to God’s love in new ways. To be in touch with Rev. Liam Hooper with questions, feedback, invitations to partner, or reflections on your community’s conversations, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Becoming a trans inclusive community
Looking to the Bible
Welcoming trans people in communities of faith
Standing with trans people
A Resource for LGBTQI+ Affirming Communities Engaging Intersectional Work. This guide is designed for congregations which welcome and affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people (LGBTQI+).
Trans Action: A Transgender Curriculum for Churches and Religious Institutions
CAPÍTULO 1: MI FAMILIA / CHAPTER 1: MY FAMILY
CAPÍTULO 2: LA BIBLIA: NUESTRO ÁLBUM FAMILIAR / CHAPTER 2: THE BIBLE: OUR FAMILY ALBUM
CAPÍTULO 3: EL DON DO NUESTRO CUERPO / CHAPTER 3: THE GIFT OF OUR BODIES
CAPÍTULO 4: “DISPUTA CON DIOS” / CHAPTER 4: “WRESTLING WITH GOD”
CAPÍTULO 5: LA BIBLIA: LO QUE NUESTRO ÁLBUM DE FAMILIA DEBE DECIR / CHAPTER 5: THE BIBLE: WHAT OUR FAMILY ALBUM HAS TO SAY
CAPÍTULO 6: USTED NO ESTA SOLO / CHAPTER 6: YOU ARE NOT ALONE
PART 1: PREPARATION
Welcome and Introduction 2
Laying the Groundwork 4
Session Structure 5
PART 2: IMPLEMENTATION
Session 1: Hearing the Stories 6
Session 2: Scriptural Engagement 7
Session 3: Transforming the Status Quo 12
PART 3: FOLLOW UP
Striving for Inclusivity Within, Among, and Beyond 14
Appendix 1: Terms Associated with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community 16 Appendix 2: Resources, Resources, Resources 18
In increasing numbers, Christians are searching for a faithful response in the church’s conversation about what it means to welcome and affirm people of all sexual identities and gender expressions. This video resource invites viewers to explore that question through six themes central to the Reformed tradition that are woven through the liturgies and confessional standards of the Reformed Church in America. We have created a downloadable discussion guide and encourage you to make use of it as you view the accompanying videos, pausing after each section to engage in reflection and conversation. The questions provided are based on the video content, Scripture, and Reformed confessions or liturgies. Download the discussion guide (pdf) and the complete video series (mp4 files). The series is also available on DVD for $15 plus shipping.