Learning & Listening

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).

Handouts

Click on the button to access Christie's Slide Deck (PDF):

Slides

The process will continue in 2023 with the following events: 

SMALL GROUPS: THE COLOSSIAN WAY
MID-JANUARY TO MID-MARCH 2023

The goal of these ten-week groups is to learn and process together as we do theological work across generations. Our expectation is for all adults who call JRCC home to engage in this important series of gatherings. We will be providing both online and in person groups across multiple times and we invite you to make this a priority in the New Year.

A WEEKEND WITH DR. BRUCE MILLER
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2023

Join us for a full-day seminar with Bruce Miller, author of the book “Leading a Church in a Time of Sexual Questioning.” Bruce has extensive experience leading his church and consulting with churches on this topic. We are also encouraging everyone to read Bruce’s book in advance of his time with us and to come with your questions.

SUNDAY MORNINGS
JANUARY TO MARCH 2023

As we have a habit of doing, we will be digging into Scripture together on topics and themes related to this conversation. We’ll be exploring things like a theology of marriage, how to read Old Testament texts, and more.

What's Next? 

We will be developing a list of Resources which will be added here soon.  

The Youth will also be going on their own learning and listening journey with Pastor Liam two Sundays a month beginning in January 2023 using the video series "Christian Sexuality" by the Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender. Here's a preview of that material: 

We also welcome you to TEXT YOUR QUESTIONS to us.  ANYTIME. CONFIDENTIALLY.

Text JRCC’s question line at 844-650-1629 with any questions you would like us to consider. We will do our very best to address them throughout this process.

You can also email us at  or connect with any of our pastoral staff.