Tue 1.10 – Government Matters: Responding to Earthly Authority (Like Jesus Might)
Tue 1.17 – Sex Matters: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification.
Tue 1.24 – Race Matters: Seeing Chasms and Building Bridges (part I)
Tue 1.31 – Race Matters: Seeing Chasms and Building Bridges (part II)
Sometimes sitting in the pew is not enough. You need to discuss, ask questions, and get at the heart of the matter. In January, you will have the opportunity to do just that with Trinity’s Elders on some tough topics. Bring your brain, ears to listen, an understanding heart, and a love for God and His purpose for a more unified and obedient church.
Given Trinity’s mission of “… making disciples of Jesus Christ who … go out and advance God’s kingdom”, we are going to nurture deeper thought, practice better listening, and work on asking artful questions that move our conversation towards our Lord and Savior. The elders are certainly not seeking controversy, but we are desirous “that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13). Therefore, we are not afraid of engaging on tough issues. Our mission is not to pressure everyone into complete agreement on everything, but to encourage greater faith, obedience and joy.
Here are a few guidelines we have for these conversations:
- The supreme authority of the Bible. We understand that not everyone is going to agree with our church’s Faith Statement. And that’s okay. But in order to keep a clearly defined scope around the discussion, respect for it is essential. The first part of our statement says:We believe the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, and that the entire Bible was written under inspiration of the Holy Spirit and thus has supreme authority in our lives. We believe God reveals himself to us through the Scriptures of both Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures are the standard and basis upon which we build our faith and live our lives.All discussion should flow from this core belief. Certainly, we welcome and encourage discussions with those who do not agree with this statement, we just need those conversations to take place outside of this forum.
- Trinity Elders will be hosting and facilitating the events.
- Conversations stay on topic. With these types of discussions, a common pitfall can be to chase theological rabbits, which can take the discussion off track, and, instead of focusing on the topic at hand, people can get bogged down explaining and defending respective labels and schools of thought. The facilitators will keep us on topic.
- Everyone can speak, and should be understood. Success in these conversations is not speaking the loudest, the most, the smartest, or the last. Success is everyone being able to speak without fear, and each person being understood in what they are saying and feeling about what is being said. Expect facilitators to pause the discussion at times to ensure that we are achieving this.
Hope you will join us Tuesdays in January at 7pm. It promises to be scintillating! (And FYI: this event is rated PG13.)
Fred Atkins, Keith Boyd, James Leonard, Dave Page, Timothy Tien, Ross Queener