Very recently the Church of England has published a book (and associated resources) called Living in Love and Faith. The website associated with this project and thus with lots of links is here. From that website we read:
"What is the purpose of the Living in Love and Faith resources?
The hope is for people in Church of England churches across the country to use the LLF resources to study and pray together. The resources are designed to encourage and enable engagement and learning in a variety of settings. This church-wide learning together, listening to one another, and listening to God is part of discerning a way forward for the Church of England in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. The purpose of the resources is to enable the Church of England churches across the country to participate in a process of learning and praying together as part of discerning a way forward in relation to matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.
The Church of England is keenly aware that issues of gender and sexuality are intrinsic to people’s experience; their sense of identity; their lives and the loving relationships that shape and sustain them. We also know that the life and mission of our Church – and of the worldwide Anglican Communion – are affected by the deep, and sometimes painful, disagreements among us which have been debated and discussed on many occasions over the years.
These divisions have come into sharper focus because of society’s changing perspectives and practices, especially in relation to lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex people. The Church wants to understand what it means to follow Christ in love and faith given the questions about human identity and the variety of patterns of relationship emerging in our society, including marriage, civil partnership, cohabitation, celibacy and friendship.
The LLF resources explore these matters by studying what the Bible, theology, history and the social and biological sciences have to say, and by telling the real-life stories of followers of Christ with diverse experiences and convictions. Find out more about what the learning outcomes of the resources are.
We hope that people in worshipping communities across the country will get involved and use the resources to learn together. That is why there is a range of resources in a variety of formats.
We believe that the Holy Spirit will be active among us as we pray, study and deliberate together to discover Christ’s call to the Church today. We do this with a deep sense of hopefulness for a future in which Christians can follow Christ together joyfully, fruitfully and with integrity."
My post today is primarily to inform Down Under readers of this development and to point yourselves and myself to the website and its resources, though for me personally I have no time at the present to digest them.
Secondarily, I am also pointing readers to some responses:
Ian Paul writes at Psephizo on "(How) should we engage with Living in Faith and Love?"
Paul Handley at Church Times offers a "quick guide" to the Living in Faith and Love book.
Prof Diamid MacCulloch, writing in 'critical review mode' at Modern Church about Living in faith and Love, offers this "drawing the reader in, to read the next sentence" opening sentence:
Thereafter he offers many thoughts on marriage and such like, not all of which are agreeable (it would seem - me having Tweeted this article the other day and receiving some critical responses, not least to what he says on 1 Samuel 20:41).
Comment as you will but to attempt to be clear, I am not myself offering these links to argue anything, one way or another. Perhaps at a later point in time I will have time to offer my own thoughts on Living in Faith and Love.