Nine-week discussion outline:
WEEK ONE: Opening thoughts and discussion questions–Using the discussion guide, gathering as a group, or not.
WEEK TWO: Early understanding of same-sex behavior and gays in the American culture until the 1960s–The beginnings of psychotherapy on homosexuality in America, gay Americans in the culture from the 1940s through the 1970s.
WEEK THREE: Moving toward social, medical, cultural, governmental, and legal freedom, then into religious oppression–The roots of Fundamentalism and the merger of conservative religion and politics.
WEEK FOUR: The origin and politics of HIV/AIDS and sex, gender, and sexual orientation
WEEK FIVE: Same-sex behavior and the Bible–Sodom and Gomorrah, Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy, Deuteronomy 22:5
WEEK SIX: Civil marriage and biblical marriage–the definition of marriage in American shifts, biblical marriage.
WEEK SEVEN: Some bad effects of misused Scripture: reparative therapy and mixed-orientation marriages
WEEK EIGHT: The gay Christian movement, LGBT youth and their parents–Rev. Troy Perry, Lonnie Frisbee, Marsha Carter, the next generation of gay and transgender Christians
WEEK NINE: Making the Christian church safe and welcoming for LGBT Christians
The nine-session study can be done alone or in a group. I strongly suggest that LGBT people, or parents of LGBT children, should be included for a broader perspective. Relationship and education — my mantra.
The first week is an introductory meeting, preferably meeting over a meal while discussing five questions. Each session, participants are assigned between 25-80 pages of reading from Walking the Bridgeless Canyon. The corresponding section of the Discussion Guide includes a five to six-page summary of the reading, and on average, nine related questions. Participants should plan on each session lasting one and a half hours.
Anyone can lead the study. Just make space available and follow the guide. Though the material is challenging, often quite challenging, the structure is done for you.
I suggest the last session as another meal and discussion meeting.