Tuesday, November 24, 2015


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Finishing the Journey: Questions and Answers from United Methodists of Conviction

This resource is intended to guide you through the issue of homosexuality and the church. Published by Northaven in 2000 in anticipation of that year’s United Methodist General Convention, Finishing the Journey has since been read by thousands yearning for a more inclusive church. Over the years, the booklet has continued to resonate with audiences because, unfortunately, the denomination has yet to find reconciliation on this issue. We invite you to encounter these questions and answers, written mostly by ministers and seminary scholars, as you take steps on your own journey.


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Finishing the Journey (All chapters; PDF, 2 MB)


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Chapter 1: Why do we need to take this journey?

Rev. Kathleen Baskin


Chapter 2: Why should we care about this issue?

Rev. Paul Escamilla, Jane Marshall, Shirley W. Cooper


Chapter 3: Is homosexuality a sin?

Rev. Dr. Joerg Rieger


Chapter 4: What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

Rev. Dr. John C. Holbert


Chapter 5: What does the Bible call us, as Christians, to do on this issue?

Bishop Richard B. Wilke


Chapter 6: Why does our church doctrine say "the practice of homosexuality" is "incompatible with Christian teaching"?

Rev. John Thornburg


Chapter 7: What effect does the doctrine have on the gay men and lesbians who belong to Methodist churches?

Gerald Hastings and an anonymous seminary student


Chapter 8: When should our Christian conscience overrule the order of the church?

Rev. Dr. Joe Allen


Chapter 9: Why should the church allow ordination of gay men and lesbians?

Rev. Dr. William K. McElvaney


Chapter 10: Why should the church allow same-sex marriage?

Rev. William R. Johnson


Chapter 11: If the church makes these changes, won’t the future of the denomination be threatened?

Rev. John Thornburg


Chapter 12: How can the church heal on this issue?

Rev. Dr. Robin W. Lovin


This publication was generously underwritten by the Leggett-Wardlow Lecture Fund, which was established to encourage dialogue on fairness and justice in the United Methodist Church. Its name honors the memory of two members of the denomination, Gene Leggett and Jim Wardlow. It was conceptualized and produced by Northaven's former pastor, John Thornburg, its former minister of Christian education, Alicia Dean, and by editor/writer Nancy Kruh, who is a member of the church.