Thank you for your commitment to learning together in this process. May God bless your time watching, listening, and reading these resources so that you might have a greater appreciation of the complexity and sanctity of this conversation. This list is just a sliver of the resources available on this discussion, but it has been narrowed down to help our specific discussion at Evergreen. May this deepen your faith in Christ, and expand your love for each other!
*DISCERNMENT PROCESS UPDATE*
At the time of this process, we were actively deliberating the direction of our church as it relates to Christian marriage. Since then, we have made some helpful decisions for our congregational practices. We value the process equally to the outcome, so we encourage you to explore these resources and our journey. However, if you would like to read about the current decision of our LGBTQ+ journey, click here.
FAMILY TIES SERMON SERIES:
Access our entire Family Ties Sermon Series on YouTube here.
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR JASON:
(music from bensound.com)
Our process for the next few months is crafted into 3 stages. In the first stage, we will commit to learning together through the sermons, seminars, and available resources. In the second stage, we will commit to prayerful discernment as the board and staff visits & listens to the congregation. In the third stage, the board and the staff will deliberate and prayerfully decide on the vision and practice of the church. Watch a video on the Listening Spaces here.
FAMILY TIES INTERVIEWS
Hear stories and thoughts of our journey from the perspective of others in the Evergreen church family! Password for the Bruce & Melanie interview is the name of our Children’s Chapel
Side by Side with Pastor Bill White
Pastor Bill White of City Church Long Beach joins us to help us explore the larger conversation (and disagreement) over LGBTQ inclusion in the church. If you have time, please listen to the audio from the 1st Side By Side seminar at CCLB which goes into greater depth studying the passages and theology. You can find these audio files on CCLB’s website here. Below you will find a video interview with Bill White and the full recording of the Side by Side seminar for Evergreen.
A Hermeneutic for Marriage Seminar
Join us for a brief Zoom seminar on hermeneutics (Biblical interpretation) that explores some of the Biblical texts around marriage. This will be a fascinating time – not just centered on our LGBTQ discussion – but to think through how we read the Bible and apply it to our lives. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A LETTER OF BLESSING FOR EBCLA
Featuring friends of Evergreen across the theological spectrum who are supporting us on the journey of LGBTQ inclusion, may this video blessing encourage you deeply! These Christian leaders and pastors have been praying for us and walking with us as we enter into this process. This is the full version (w/ extended blessings) of the shorter video featured in service.
Coffee with Melvin
Former Evergreen pastor, Melvin Fujikawa, has been working with Evergreen as an advisor through this process and to provide pastoral care for The Open Door. As a widowed gay Asian American pastor and licensed spiritual director, he brings unique intersectionality to our process with a strong love for our church family (and the spiritual gifts of Mercy and Healing). A spiritual direction appointment can help discern God’s voice in your life through reflection and prayer. Set up a time with Melvin for spiritual direction or to just chat (coffee optional)! Below you will find an interview with Melvin.
SUNDAY CLASSES & GATHERINGS:
Marriage and the Bible with Pastor Jonathan
Join our reflections on the meaning and purpose of marriage. Tools and resources will be introduced to examine and unpack the biblical message in today’s context. Engage in thoughtful conversation on the various passages that reference marriage and human relationships. This class has concluded.
OFFICE HOURS w/ PASTOR JASON:
Pastor Jason is offering office hours over Zoom to help you process, ask questions, or receive prayer as you journey through this discussion.
What Does It Mean to Be Welcoming?: Navigating LGBT Questions in Your Church by Travis Collins. Collins writes from an openly non-affirming perspective, but keeps the conversation balanced and informative. While this book has a clear point-of-view, I hope you will gain an appreciation for the heart behind both perspectives. Click here to purchase on Amazon.
Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity by Gregory Coles. Coles writes from an openly non-affirming perspective as a gay Christian. This books invites you into the journey and life of the author, while touching on his Biblical interpretation. Click here to purchase on Amazon.
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee. Lee writes from an openly affirming perspective as a gay Christian. This books invites you into the journey and life of the author, while touching on his Biblical interpretation. Click here to purchase on Amazon.
A People To Be Loved by Preston Sprinkle. Sprinkle is a popular speaker, author, former professor, and holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Aberdeen University in Scotland. He writes from an openly non-affirming perspective and provides added depth in understanding this topic. Click here to purchase on Amazon.
Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson. Brownson is James I. and Jean Cook Professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary and holds a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He writes from an openly affirming perspective and provides added depth in understanding this topic. Click here to purchase on Amazon.
*This is a non-exhaustive list meant to help you further your reflection and engagement with both the human and Biblical aspects of our journey.