OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS, YOUR ELDERS ARE FACILITATING A CONGREGATION-WIDE LISTENING AND LEARNING PROCESS ABOUT GENDER, SEXUALITY, AND CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP.
WHY are we doing this?
Jericho Ridge is committed to radical hospitality and confessional congruence;* to loving people who identify as LGBTQ+; and to equipping all people to move toward Jesus.
The questions we desire to wrestle with together revolve around "How do we live out these commitments in the embodied community of Jericho Ridge?" We believe that the human cost of not wrestling with this question is real and unacceptable and God’s invitation for us to explore it together is a wondrous gift. This is why your whole- person engagement throughout the whole process is so important.* The Mennonite Brethren Confession of Faith describes a shared understanding of the teaching of Scripture which we have discerned and publicly confessed together as a community.
Have a listen to our elders as they explain their personal 'why' behind this conversation in this clip from our agm
HOW are we inviting you to engage?
Both shouting and silence can amplify feelings of fear, distrust, and isolation. Instead, conversations characterized by the grace and truth of Jesus strengthen our faith and witness. Together, let’s defuse the overheated rhetoric around gender and sexuality, speak plainly, and listen generously.
As we step into this process, we are asking everyone at Jericho to commit to the following...
1) Disarm fearful presuppositions so that everyone can join us in the imaginative task of being full of grace and full of truth (ask: What are the fears that I as an individual bring to this conversation? Where did those fears come from? What continues to shape them?)
2) Delve deep into a complex topic that requires curiously to learn, care in our use of language and compassion in our disagreements (ask: how can I explore and challenge inaccurate stereotypes and negative characterizations?)
3) Discuss hard things with a soft spirit and an openness to other opinions and experiences (ask: can I step into a space of shared vulnerability?)
4) Discern together how we are going to live out our corporate commitments in unity and love (ask: can you remain in relationship with the community while not necessarily agreeing with all aspects of where Jericho lands or where other people at Jericho land on this topic?)
5) Disciple people toward stronger biblical engagement and wider cultural engagement on important topics of all sorts (ask: how does this process help us think about other topics and relationships that we might find challenging such as indigenous reconciliation, politics, etc?).
What does this process look like?
We began the process with a seminar on Nov 12, 2022 for parents entitled Navigating Identity with Christie Penner Worden of Raise Up Faith.
This event was designed to help give people a broader perspective on the topic and develop language to have meaningful and helpful conversations with the kids in our lives.
If you would like to view the video, it was live streamed and also posted on our Kids at the Ridge YouTube channel (see below):
Click the button to access the Participant Handout (PDF).
Click on the button to access Christie's Slide Deck (PDF):
The process is continuing in 2023 with the following events:
SMALL GROUPS: THE COLOSSIAN WAY
MID-JANUARY TO MID-MARCH 2023
Here's a video overview of The Colossian Way philosophy from their YouTube channel: