POV (point of view) Conversation
To facilitate discussions about preparing for the Way Forward and understanding the differing perspectives regarding human sexuality, a diverse Florida Conference team of clergy and laity has created a structured, conversational experience called “Point of View” (POV).
It is designed to equip participants to grow in empathy, have a broader understanding of different points of view and to create generative dialogue around challenging conversations. Early this year, POV was beta tested in three churches, and then launched conference-wide during the summer.
“POV gatherings give us the space as United Methodists in Florida to develop empathy and trust in conversations about human sexuality,” Bishop Ken Carter said. “We are trying to create an alternative to the divisive spirit in our culture. All churches, including ours, are to understand LGBTQ+ identity in light of scripture and in a context of prayer. This is about listening, and not coercion; deeper fellowship, and not partisanship. I am very grateful for the spiritual maturity of the people of the Florida Conference.”
Riviera UMC, Lealman UMC, and St James UMC came together on November 4th to engage in this process. Below are some of the materials and videos that were shared. What we found is that POV provided a good framework for how to have difficult conversations, and increased our empathy for one another. We hope you find these resources helpful too.
With these new skills, we have planned to gather once again in January to journey a bit deeper in understanding the differing viewpoints (and the theology that grounds those viewpoints) surrounding LGBTQ inclusion. We plan to do this prior to the General Conference in 2019 so that we are more informed of the discussions taking place during that gathering and vote.