Church tackles sexualityEvery Episcopal Church parish will...

Religion notes

August 27, 1992

Church tackles sexuality

Every Episcopal Church parish will be expected to take up in the next few months the study of controversial sexuality issues, including sexual abuse and gay and lesbian concerns, the church announced.

Speaking for the denomination, Episcopal Bishop O'Kelley Whitaker referred to deep divisions among church members and clergy on sexual questions.

"Our goal," he said, "is to enable every parish, either on their own or with a number of others, to engage in dialogue . . . in an atmosphere of listening to and understanding others who speak, rather than focusing on changing one another's mind or simply ** winning."

The church-wide debate will begin with a workshop for diocesan representatives Sept. 18-20 in Washington, to be followed by similar regional programs in Kansas and California.

Diocesan leaders prepared by these workshops are to train parish members, who will then lead a series of five discussions in each church beginning Dec. 1.

The discussions are intended to form the basis for a new #F teaching on sexuality that will be proposed to the 1994 General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

"Truth Squad":

Human Life International, a Roman Catholic organization with offices in Gaithersburg, has formed a panel of theologians and other educators willing to answer questions or take part in debates about the late Pope Paul VI's controversial encyclical, "Humanae Vitae," which prohibits artificial birth control.

The organization calls the panel of defenders of the Catholic position against contraception its "Truth Squad." The Rev. Matthew Habiger, at (301) 670-7884, will provide more information.

Relationships:

Anger, self-doubt and other relationship problems often experienced by men and women in the ministry will be the subject of a symposium Oct. 8 at Taylor Manor Hospital in Ellicott City.

Sponsored by the Isaac Taylor Institute of Psychiatry and Religion, the seminars -- designed for ministers, priests, rabbis, nuns, counselors, therapists and others in the so-called helping professions -- will be led by Brother Loughlan Sofield, senior editor of Human Development magazine, and Sister Carroll Juliano, co-author of "Design for Wholeness" and "Collaborative Ministry."

4 To register, call (410) 465-3322, extension 230.

Love and sex:

Dr. Sol Gordon, clinical psychologist, sex educator and author, will discuss sex education and other sexuality issues in two Baltimore appearances next month sponsored by the Board of Jewish Education and four local synagogues of Reform Judaism: Baltimore Hebrew, Har Sinai, Oheb Shalom and Temple Emanuel.

His subject will be "Why Love Is Not Enough" in a program for single people at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at Oheb Shalom Congregation.

From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 14 at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, his subject will be "Love and Sex: What Parents and Teens Wish the Other Knew." This session is designed for 9th- to 12th-grade students and their parents.

For more information about either program, call Marci Dickman at 578-6945.

New pastor:

Sparks Baptist Church, which holds its Sunday services and Bible study at Sparks Elementary School in Baltimore County, has named its first full-time pastor. He is the Rev. Paul N. Arnold, who has served churches in Indiana and Kentucky.

For information about this growing congregation, call (410) 472-0988.

Send religious news items -- about events, local personalities, etc. -- to Religion Notes, c/o Frank Somerville, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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