Con­fer­ence lead­ers urge Ad­ven­tists, Evan­gel­i­cal Al­liance to di­a­logue

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Paul Clarke Gleaner Writer

REC­TOR OF Christ Church Fa­ther Sean Ma­jor-Camp­bell says that bet­ter un­der­stand­ing is needed by fel­low church lead­ers to spur con­ver­sa­tion around the re­peal­ing of the bug­gery law, while is­su­ing a call to the Ja­maica Evan­gel­i­cal Al­liance (JAE) and the Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tists in Ja­maica to join them in di­a­logue.

Ma­jor-Camp­bell leads a list of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional cler­gy­men in a two-day con­fer­ence un­der the theme ‘In­ti­mate Con­vic­tion’, an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence ex­am­in­ing the Church and its stance against the re­peal of the bug­gery law.

“I am say­ing to all the groups out there, all the churches and pas­tors out there, we need you. Let us see how we can come to­gether in spite of our dif­fer­ences and re­spect­fully lis­ten to each other,” Ma­jorCamp­bell said.

“The chal­lenge is to see how, even with our dif­fer­ences, peo­ple can come to­gether to re­spect­fully share in con­ver­sa­tion,” he added.

Both the JEA and the Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tists have dis­tanced them­selves from the con­fer­ence, cit­ing a dif­fer­ence in scrip­tural be­lief, with the JEA say­ing that it “up­holds the law against bug­gery as set out in the Of­fences Against the Per­son Act and

is strongly and un­equiv­o­cally op­posed to its al­ter­ation or re­peal”.

The Sev­enth-Day Ad­ven­tists in Ja­maica in a press re­lease, said that “sex­ual in­ti­macy be­longs only within the mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship of a man and woman” as de­signed by God and that the Church is “op­posed to ho­mo­sex­ual prac­tices and re­la­tion­ships”.

Ma­jor-Camp­bell said, how­ever, that he

hoped the two or­gan­i­sa­tions would find it nec­es­sary at some point to meet for di­a­logue, us­ing scrip­ture for the ba­sis of his re­quest.

“The Lord’s com­mand to love one an­other means much more than a group of per­sons of like mind lock­ing them­selves in a room join­ing hands and singing,” Ma­jorCamp­bell said.

LIONEL ROOKWOOD/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

From left: Phillip Wong, direc­tor of devel­op­ment, Cana­dian HIV/AIDS Le­gal Net­work; Rev Dr Majorie Lewis, United Church of Ja­maica and The Cay­man Is­lands; Phillippa Drew, Kalei­do­scope Trust, United King­dom; Rev Fa­ther Sean Ma­jor-Camp­bell; and Rev Micheal Weeder, Angli­can Church of South Africa, dis­cuss their con­fer­ence, sched­uled to start to­day.

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