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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Forum to discuss human sexuality and Biblical interpretation

    February 16, 2016 / By Kathleen Rubino / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    The Upper New York Conference's Human Sexuality Task Force will host a forum on "Human Sexuality and Biblical Interpretation" from 1-4 p.m. on March 5 at the Liverpool First United Methodist Church. In addition to on-site seating, the event will be live-streamed.

    "Live video streaming can be accessible worldwide, allowing a large audience from all over the nation to attend from the comfort and convenience of their own home,” said Mary Dalglish, UNY Conference video specialist. “The benefit is the ability to expand access to an event beyond its localities, making it easier for anyone to attend.”

    The Rev. Doug Mackey, a member of the UNY Conference’s Human Sexuality Task Force and pastor at the Tully United Community Church, said the event is a great educational opportunity to hear in- depth interpretations of scripture relating to human sexuality.

    “It is an important way to hear various view points on the issue,” he said. “In the past, discussions have not been discussions as much as arguments, so one of our [the task force’s] jobs is to help people hear each other, to listen to the experts who have made it a part of their work to look at these scriptures in depth.”

    The audience can expect to hear various schools of thought on the issue of human sexuality – which will be a big issue presented at the 2016 General Conference session May 10-20 in Portland, Ore. – from leading experts, the Rev. Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller, professor at Drew Theology School in New Jersey, and the Rev. Dr. Bill T. Arnold, professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. During the forum, each speaker will present their thoughts on scripture and will respond to each other. There will also be a question-and-answer period.

    “It’s important for those who already have an opinion on the issue to be open and to hear and listen to the other side, and it’s important to people who don’t care one way or another to hear where the sides come from,” Rev. Mackey said.

    More information about the speakers:

    Rev. Spencer-Miller was ordained elder in the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. She is the Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies at Drew Theological School, a provisional elder in the New York Annual Conference, and a Minister-in-Residence at Church of the Village in Manhattan. Her commitment to justice for social transformation integrates her life. She understands Christian commitment as grounded within a community of faith that is always restless for expressions of God’s “kin-dom” as an ever-branching tree that can nest every seeking bird. This is a summation of all that she learned through Sunday school at Lyndhurst in Kingston, the United Theological College of the West Indies (B.A. in theology), Candler School of Theology (Th.M.) and Claremont Graduate University (Ph.D).

    Rev. Arnold is an elder in The United Methodist Church and pastored churches for six years before moving into extension ministry. He holds his ordination with the Kentucky Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. His current charge conference is First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Ky. Rev. Arnold is the Paul S. Amos Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. While at Asbury, Rev. Arnold has served as Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost, Director of Postgraduate Studies, Chair of the Area of Biblical Studies, and Director of Hebrew Studies. Rev. Arnold has written or edited 12 books, including “Introduction to the Old Testament.”

    Event details:

    On-site attendance is free and open to the public, but registration is required by clicking here. The registration deadline is March 2. 

    To watch the live stream, click here. The stream will not be “on air” until a couple of hours before the event. 

    TAGGED / Connectional Ministries


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."