My name is Judith and I’m conducting some PhD research around how a new generation of Christians formulate their sexual ethics.
I don’t just mean “young Christians” – I think that there is a new sort of Christian emerging, all across the world.
These Christians can be found across denominations, in evangelical churches, liberal churches, middle of the road churches, high churches, low churches, charismatic churches and emerging churches.
But they share some crucial things in common. Generally: they are LGBTQ+ supporting and affirming and they care deeply about social justice, environmental justice and politics.
I call us the “Deconstructed Generation” because of the sexual and gender fluidity and the general deconstruction of identity that is now an ordinary part of our lives. We’re “shades of grey” people, who unpack, distil and communicate rapidly, comfortable with changing direction and innately respectful of difference.
I’m interested in the thinking processes and influences of a new generation of Christians. My PhD project is therefore being designed with the hope that I will be able to find a sense of where modern UK Christianity is moving, in terms of its theological sexual ethics… and get some great conversations going, across denominational divides, while we’re at it!
The working title is this:
“The Deconstructed Generation: How Christian Sexual Ethics are Formulated Within an Emerging (sub-)Movement in the UK.”
I’m hoping that folk from Inclusive Church might be interested in getting involved. I know that your membership is broad and that many of these kinds of conversations have already been taking place.
Perhaps you would be willing to take part in a Zoom workshop-style focus group? These groups will each have 6 participants, plus 1 researcher and 1 “pastoral support” person – available for pm’s at any point, should you be triggered by anything that’s said or comes up for you. After-care will also be offered. We’ll chat about:
– Personal backgrounds
– Our opinions on sex outside of marriage & same sex marriage
– How and why we feel the way we feel
– Issues we still feel we struggle with and why
– Our “top 3” for right Christian sexual relationships
All sessions will be recorded, so we’ll ask for your written permission before the sessions.
Or maybe you’d be up for filling in this questionnaire ?
Who am I?
I’m 44, a minister of 3 URC churches in Derby. Wife to Liz and Mum to Imani and Elijah. We were very privileged to be able to have a church wedding in 2016, in Scotland. I am Scottish myself and, although my last pastorate was in Glasgow. I’m Edinburgh through and through!
Before I joined the URC I was a non-stipendiary minister with the Metropolitan Community Church MCC, in Edinburgh and across Scotland as Outreach Worker. With the MCC I also did a year of training in Los Angeles, which considerably broadened my perspectives and opened my eyes (and heart) to the complexities of modern day ministry.
My Church roots were resolutely conservative and evangelical. Consequently I didn’t have the best time, in the years between coming out (early ‘90s) and drifting gradually into the MCC. It’s probably safe to say that MCC “saved me,” at least spiritually.
The decision to transition to the URC was largely organic – I began attending a local URC and started to realise there was indeed a mainstream church track available to me, if only I could have the courage to accept the welcome I was offered. MCC offered a very safe bubble but, perhaps, ran the risk of becoming something of a ghetto.
However, I remain committed to the struggles that remain for inclusion and equality for all people. I also remain fascinated by the complex dynamics at play and the ways that I have the power to be part of change that, today, seems to move at a pace I could never have imagined, 30 years ago!
To get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org