Table Talk Resources
NEW – Table Talk Facilitator Feedback Form
CLICK HERE to find a short online form we are asking facilitators to fill out after they’ve led a Table Talks event. Thank you for helping us to keep track of how things are going!
Table Talk Opportunities
Dates for the Table Talks events are now to be found on the public Table Talks page and will no longer be updated on this page.
As you share Table Talks opportunities with those you’re in ministry with, please use the RSVP Link so site leaders can have some idea of how many people they should expect.
Speaking of RSVP Links, CLICK HERE if you would like to see the current registration report which auto-updates as people RSVP for the events. If you use the Download button at the top of the report, it will deliver a CSV file you can then sort in Excel to more easily count. Even though we are encouraging people to RSVP, you may want to expect walk-ins in your planning.
Table Talk Resources
The following resources are being provided to assist those who will be leading Table Talks and to inform participants who want to know a little more about the event. They were produced by leaders from all three Greater Northwest Area conferences in collaboration with worship consultant, Dr. Marcia McFee.
- Guide for Participants (Communion Version) WORD | PDF
- Guide for Participants (Love Feast Version) WORD | PDF
- Script for Leaders (Communion Version) WORD | PDF
- Script for Leaders (Love Feast Version) WORD | PDF
- Reader Parts (Communion Version) WORD | PDF
- Reader Parts (Love Feast Version) WORD | PDF
- Tips for Facilitators WORD | PDF
- Table Talks Presentation (Bishop Elaine Stanovsky – New Version 4/26/2018) PPT | PDF
- NEW Video Summary by Rev. Donna Prichard of Commission on a Way Forward and the two models currently being reviewed by the Commission and Council of Bishops. This is a great overview for people who don’t know what the commission is and what they are considering. View or Download the 6:00 minute video.
- Overview #1 of Proposals for General Conference – (PDF) The Great Plains Conference put together a summary of the recommendations to the special 2019 General Conference. While helpful, some have noted some bias.
- Overview #2 of Proposals for General Conference – (PDF) Dave Nuckols, a member of the Commission on a Way Forward has put together his own comparison summary of the three plans that were submitted by the Commission or Council of Bishops. As with overview #1 this comparison can be subject to bias.
- Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, The Arbinger Institute | Purchase
- Holy Contradictions: What’s next for the People Called United Methodists, Brian K. Milford, editor | Purchase
- Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. (and study guide) PDF Versions: Spanish | English | Korean | French | Portuguese
- Resources compiled by the Commission on the Way Forward to support their conversations: PDF
- Fearless Dialogues by Dr. Greg Ellison | Learn More
- Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger | Purchase
- You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield | NPR Excerpt | Purchase
Video Introduction from Bishop Elaine
See a video invitation from Bishop Elaine Stanovsky to attend a Table Talk session.
Visit vimeo.com/greaternw/table-talks to download this invitation to use in your event invitations, local church or district newsletter.
United Methodists in the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences are being encouraged to participate in Table Talk conversations being planned in various settings across the Greater Northwest Area. These opportunities will provide members a structured way to engage the church’s current discussion of human sexuality and the report of the Commission on a Way Forward.
Table Talks will embody a worshipful spirit and participants will be required to commit to a simple covenant. In short, the covenant asks us to:
- Stay Curious,
- Be Kind, and to
- Listen with the same amount of passion with which I want to be heard.
Both worship and covenant are essential as we ask for God to be present in our conversations and recognize that we can sometimes get in the way of that. We hope you’ll seriously consider participating in one of these opportunities.
Learn More about the Way Forward
The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed at the 2016 General Conference by the Council of Bishops “to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church.” The proposal was approved and a 32-member commission was named in October of 2016.You can learn more about their composition, vision, and how they are structuring their work here.
The Council of Bishops have also called a Special Session of the General Conference to be held be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri limited to acting on the report from the Council “based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward.” Updates from the Council of Bishops can be found here.
Additional prayer resources have been produced for conference efforts surround all of this work in prayer. While each of the three conference in the Greater Northwest Area have completed their assigned weeks of prayer, you might still find resources and inspiration as others continue this work. You can learn more about this Praying Our Way Forward effort here.
- Commission on the Way Forward Meeting: March 19-21
- Council of Bishops meeting: April 22 – May 4
- Following that COB meeting Commission on the Way Forward team will work on legislation and consider asking declaratory rulings from the Judicial Council
- Alaska Annual Conference: May 31 – June 2
- Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference: June 13-17
- Pacific Northwest Annual Conference: June 21 – 24
- Release of recommendations from Commission and Council of Bishops: July or later 2018
- Called General Conference Session: February 23-26, 2019, St. Louis MO
Leaders for the initial Table Talks facilitator training
Event Design – Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Rev. Carlo Rapanut, Rev. David Valera
Way Forward Report – Rev. Donna Pritchard
Worship Design – Dr. Marcia McFee
Conversation Design – Nancy Tam Davis