This forum is part of the March 10, 2014 Just Resolution of the case of Dr. Thomas Ogletree. It will provide an opportunity to hear different perspectives on the issues of our United Methodist clergy covenant and human sexuality. Registration will be capped at 200 (the first will be first).
“The purpose of this forum will be to contribute to healing within the body and greater understanding among those who are affiliated with the New York Annual Conference. Bishop McLee intends that persons would listen deeply to one another in an atmosphere of Christian respect.” (Quoted from the March 10, 2014 Just Resolution document)
The focus of this forum is not debating the issues, but to have a reasoned conversation about the issues that divide and unite United Methodists. Some questions that will be discussed are: What is the true nature of the covenant that binds us together? In what authority is our covenant grounded? How do we resolve the conflict between justice issues and our covenant? When, if ever, is it justified to break this covenant? How do human sexuality issues impact our covenant?
Bishop McLee and Dr. Ogletree will make statements, but not serve as panelists.
Panelists were chosen for their diverse viewpoints. They are:
Ms. Kim McLarin (Moderator), Assistant Professor of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College and author of critically-acclaimed novels: Taming It Down, Meeting of the Waters and Jump at the Sun. She is also a regular panelist and moderator on Basic Black, produced by WGBH in Boston.
Dr. Bill T. Arnold, Paul Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary and author of upcoming book, Seeing Black and White in a Gray World: The Need for Theological Reasoning in the Church’s Debate Over Sexuality.
Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey, Associate Dean for Community Life and Lifelong Learning, Clinical Assistant Professor of Contextual Theology and Practice at Boston University School of theology, ordained elder in full connection Northern Illinois Annual Conference.
The Rev. Drew McIntyre, Pastor of West Bend UMC in Asheboro, NC and an Elder in the Western North Carolina Conference. He is a contributor to the blog Via Media Methodists, dedicated to offering an alternative perspective beyond the current polarization and advancing the conversation in the UMC.
Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Drew University Theological School and Provisional Elder in the New York Annual Conference.