Rustlings (April 20, 2015)

On my first Sunday at First Baptist Greenville, I promised to ‘get to know you.’ Along with the tasks accompanying my role, I wanted to learn your names, spend time in your homes, attend your children’s ballgames, decipher your family connections, celebrate the joys of your lives and help – in some measure – carry the weight of your struggles. I am still determined to know you. It is only right that I allow you the opportunity and space to know me. I’ve tried to be transparent in our conversations, in sermons and in my writing. I’ve been open to any question and forthright in my answers. With that in mind…

Our LGBT Discernment Team will be making a report and recommendation to the Diaconate on Monday, May 4. Pending the approval of the diaconate, the congregation will prayerfully hear and discuss the report on Wednesday, May 13. Again, pending approval of the Diaconate, if any action is required, a called church conference will be held on Sunday, May 17. Two people have written me letters, and one person has spoken with me in person to say, “I’m still not comfortable talking about this. I don’t know how I feel about particular biblical verses related to homosexuality. I’d like to know where you are on the issue and how you deal with those biblical verses.”

I want you to know me and know how I relate/converse with God in scripture. On Sunday morning, April 26, I will share my perspective on these biblical texts, during the Sunday School hour in the Fellowship Hall. This time is particularly for those who still struggle with these texts and struggle with openness to the LGBT community. I hope you will join me as we continue to pray together, think together and share our lives together as church family.

– Jim