A BOOK, films, podcasts, an online library, and a five-session video course will be among the resources for the Church of England’s consideration of sexuality and identity, Living in Love and Faith (LLF), when they are published on 9 November.
They were originally intended to appear in June, before the usual General Synod meeting in York (which was cancelled), but were delayed by the pandemic (News, 1 May; 26 June).
The book, Living in Love and Faith (Church House Publishing, £19.99), commissioned by the House of Bishops, is based on “shared conversations” over several years at various levels in the Church — from the General Synod to the parish. They have focused on gender and sexuality and the Church’s response to changing social attitudes, particularly in relation to LGBT people and the current state of the Church’s teaching. The book has a foreword from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and is in five parts.
The first sets questions about human identity, sexuality, relationships, and marriage; the second addresses changing social attitudes to these questions in the world; and the third explores Christian thinking on these. The fourth part considers what it means for individuals and the Church to be “Christlike” in relation to these issues, and the fifth “invites the reader into a conversation” between the authors of the book who have come to different conclusions.
An accompanying five-session course, based on five questions, is set out in a booklet (£4.99).
The questions are: What does it mean to learn together as followers of Jesus Christ? How does our identity in Christ relate to sex and gender? What kinds of relationships does God call us to? Where do our bodies and sex fit in to all of this? How do diversity and difference affect our life together as a church?
Other resources, including a podcast and films, will be available online, free of charge.