Canadian MB study conference returns to sexuality

Oct 12, 2015 by

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A Mennonite Brethren study conference later this month will focus on sexuality in a way that goes beyond only homosexuality concerns.

The Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches will host “God, Sex and Church: A Theology of Healthy Sexuality” Oct. 21-23 at Westwood Community Church in Winnipeg, Man., after the CCMBC annual meeting Oct. 21.

The CCMBC Board of Faith and Life intends the gathering to help Canadian MBs gain a clearer vision of God’s design for human sexuality and the church’s role to support that.

BFL chair Brian Cooper said the study conference follows a similar gathering two years ago.

“The BFL recognized that the 2013 conference merely pointed to the difficulties inherent in framing a church response to sexual brokenness of various kinds. It did little to equip individuals and churches to provide a pastoral response,” he said. “The 2015 study conference is intended to pick up where the last conference left off and address the church’s pastoral approaches to sexual brokenness.”

Some of the topics and workshops will cover fidelity and wholeness, talking with teens about sexuality, sexual abuse effects and healing, how to engage with the LGBTQ community and how to include people in church who have committed sexual offenses against children.

Cooper said the focus on broader human sexuality is because sex-related issues facing churches are varied.

“The conference is oriented toward describing what healthy sexuality looks like rather than merely describing the problems that MBs perceive,” Cooper said.

Featured speakers include Bruxy Cavey, author and teaching pastor at The Meeting House, a Brethren in Christ multisite church in Toronto; Paul Cumin, pastor of Pemberton (B.C.) Community Church and author of Christ at the Crux; and Laura Schmidt Roberts, professor of biblical and religious studies at Fresno (Calif.) Pacific University.

Planners anticipate a good response from CCMBC churches, with more than 300 attendees registered.

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