The Church and Same-Sex Marriage: Two Perspectives

Where Cole Hall @ Bridgewater College

Duration 2 hours

A coalition of local groups will sponsor a public forum entitled, “The Church and Same-Sex Marriage: Two Perspectives,” at Bridgewater College’s Cole Hall on Tuesday, November 12th, at 7 p.m. This structured dialogue will present the community with two different pastoral perspectives on same-sex marriage. The event is being hosted by Bridgewater College’s Pre-Law Society and co-sponsored by Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Interfaith Engagement and The Valley Family Forum.

The traditional position—that the Church should only endorse marriage between a man and woman—will be presented by Dr. John Sloop, who served as Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg for the past 27 years. The view that the Church should also endorse same-sex marriage will be presented by Rev. Daniel Robayo, who was ordained in 1988 and is the current Rector of Harrisonburg’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

While the session will bear some resemblances to a traditional debate, its organizers prefer to call it an “encounter.” The encounter is designed to foster mutual respect and a deeper understanding of the two perspectives rather than to produce a “winner.” For instance, after both perspectives are presented, each participant will be asked to restate the other’s perspective to the other’s satisfaction. There will also be a time for the two participants to entertain questions from the audience. Eastern Mennonite University’s Barry Hart will moderate the encounter. Hart is a professor of Trauma, Identity and Conflict Studies at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

This will be the first of two encounters dealing with cultural issues surrounding same-sex marriage. The second, tentatively scheduled for next spring, will feature public policy experts discussing the question of whether civil marriage should encompass committed same-sex couples.

These encounters are the product of the newly-created “Community Dialogue Project,” which seeks to bring liberal and conservative elements of the community together to discuss important cultural issues at a deeper level and with greater civility than is typical in today’s polarized, partisan environment. The Community Dialogue Project includes John Fairfield, Research Fellow at EMU’s Center for Interfaith Engagement; Rita Dunaway, Vice President for Public Policy at Virginia Christian Alliance; David Brubaker, Associate Professor with EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding; and Tim Frost, Facilitating Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Cole Hall is located at 402 E College St (Next to the KCC), Bridgewater, VA 22812

For more information, please contact The Community Dialogue Project at .

Intended Audience General Public

Tags Center-for-Interfaith-Engagement, ACRS, CAMPUSMINISTRIES, CJP, Intellectual Life

Contact Information

Name Center for Interfaith Engagement