The same-sex issue has been brewing from some time now in the Mennonite church. The following article in the December 2014 issue of the MB Herald is about a play that is bringing people into the same-sex conversation. But will it bring them into the truth?
One-man play calls audience to hear another story
Can fiction create a conversation where study has led only to argument? Some 20 MB and Mennonite church members sponsoring a presentation of Ted Swartz’s play on relationships, sexuality and the church at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg, Nov. 11, 2014, hope the audience will come to listen.
Listening for Grace: Variations on a Theme of Struggle and Hope is created and acted by the U.S. Mennonite actor and humourist. Swartz plays five different characters, based on interviews and stories from same-sex attracted individuals and their families. Swartz’s play does not promote an agenda, explains the show’s website, but “teaches the transformative power of listening.”
The Mennonite Brethren conference has heard theological teaching on homosexuality at the board of faith and life’s “Honouring God with the body” study conference Oct. 16–18, 2013, and will continue to explore the subject at the “God, Sex and Church” study conference in 2015.
Swartz’s format isn’t a theological study or discussion. “Plays touch on the emotions,” says Manitoba MB conference pastor Keith Poysti. The conference is not endorsing the play; however, “It’s good for us to listen and hear respectfully,” says Poysti.
John Unger, retired pastor of Fort Garry MB Church, Winnipeg, who is part of the sponsoring group, see the play as “a way to help the church begin to listen to one another. . .”
What other Mennonites are saying about this play:
Ted Swartz’s New Play May Have Just Scared Me Back onto the Straight and Narrow, in the Funniest Possible Way and for Probably Not Quite the Right Reason
Playwright and actor Ted Swartz brings music, comedy and storytelling to conversation about sexuality, faith and family
Voice of grace
Actor brings music, comedy and storytelling to conversation about sexuality, faith and family
What God says about the same-sex issue:
“Is it possible to be a gay Christian?”
What does the New Testament say about homosexuality?
What does the Bible say about gay marriage / same sex marriage?
What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?
If homosexuality is a sin, why didn’t Jesus ever mention it?
What the facts say about same-sex relationships being harmful:
Homosexual activity harms no one
More Mennonites Licensing Same-Sex Pastor
Same Sex Marriages in Mennonite Church
‘Wisely’ Revised Mennonite Perspective on Sin
Mennonite Leaders Concerned about Recent Same-Sex Issues
Will Mennonites Make Space to Welcome Sin?
Mennonite University Considering Policy Change to Allow Homosexual Faculty
Mennonite Church USA Same Sex Marriage Symposium
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: 6 Questions Every Gay Person Should Ask
NEW: Also see:
A Public Service Announcement Regarding Goshen and EMU.