Name: Jane Finely
Role: Lay Delegate
Local Church: Toccoa First UMC
Legislative Committee: General Board of Discipleship
Q: Last night there was another Holy Conferencing moment around human sexuality. That is a very charged topic for our church. Do you think Holy Conferencing about this issue is helpful?
A: I think that Holy Conferencing really enables each of us to have our own viewpoints, and to share those with one anothers in a sensitive, Christian way. Each of us has the right and responsibility to share our thoughts about that issue. Hopefully, Holy Conferencing can grant us patience and understanding when listening to everyone’s viewpoint.
Q: Would you say that it’s almost like we are being reminded to be respectful and kind with others?
A: Yes, it is a general reminder to be kind to one another and to listen with understanding. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with everyone, but it calls us to listen closely to, and be in communication with, others.
Q: Do you think it’s sad that we have to be reminded of this?
A: In our day-to-day world, we are driven by haste and stress, and every one of us can be reminded to just slow down and be kind and caring to others.
Q: So you see this exercise as a step forward for our Church?
A: Oh, I do. Holy Conferencing is a step forward in all areas. But I wouldn’t just limit this to the human sexuality issue. I would like to see us Holy Conference around lay and clergy relationships and all the issues that revolve around clergy and the local church. There are many things that we need to be inclusive about in our thought process as we make decisions about our Church.
Q: Do you think that some people are scared to discuss these ‘hot button issues’ in such an intentional and open way?
A: Maybe. I really can only speak for myself, and I just feel that we have a tremendous opportunity to learn from each other. To have that understanding from others is very important to us as human beings. In fact, I would encourage all of us to take this outside the church, too, and incorporate it into our daily lives. Many things can be resolved if we just listen and respect one another. This is reminding us to respect our brothers and sisters and be in relationship together.
To read more about Jane, please find her bio here.