“Patient Vigor": Resources for Conversations about Sexuality

AMBS’s mission of reconciliation includes a readiness to resource the whole church during this time of intense, prayerful discernment. We recognize that as a church, we’ve allowed competing claims about what the Bible says to divide rather than unite us.

AMBS faculty have a profound respect for the Scripture’s power to reveal God in Christ to us—scriptures we must listen to over and over again, with vigorous patience, to discern the mind of Christ for these “interesting times.”

Resources for study and conversation (PDF)

Gestalt of Patience

— Alan Kreider, PhD, Retired Professor of New Testament
Praying for Enemies

— Rachel Miller Jacobs, DMin, Assistant Professor of Congregational Formation
Augustine’s Steps in the Study of Scripture

— Ben C. Ollenburger, PhD, Professor of Biblical Theology
How Can We Get on the Same Page: Rethinking our Relationships With Each Other and the Bible

Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, PhD, Associate Dean for Leadership Education
Discerning What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches (PDF)

— Loren L. Johns, PhD, Professor of New Testament
Discerning What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches (video)

— Loren L. Johns, PhD, Professor of New Testament
Mennonite Church USA Polity - Part 1 (video recorded in 2011)

— Janeen Bertsche Johnson, Campus Pastor, former member of Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA Polity- Part 2 (video recorded in 2011)

— Janeen Bertsche Johnson, Campus Pastor, former member of Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA
Being a Faithful Church (Unit 6) Booklet for Resources for Discernment (2014)

— Mennonite Church Canada

Being a Faithful Church
Booklet of Resources for Discernment (2009-2014)

— Mennonite Church Canada

Living into the Tension

— David B. Miller
Human Experience, Biblical Interpretation and Theological Discernment

— Safwat Marzouk, PhD, Assistant Professor of Old Testament

Difficult Conversation Guide, based on a three-part Conversation within the AMBS Community

— Janeen Bertsche Johnson, Campus Pastor

The Theological Shape of Discernment: A Brief Guide

Jamie Pitts, PhD, Assistant Professor of Anabaptist Studies

Deep Listening: Sermon on Acts 15:1-33

— Gayle Gerber Koontz, PhD, Professor Emerita of Theology and Ethics

As an Anabaptist learning community, we are unafraid of the hard questions. Instead, we are exhilarated by them—believing that the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the communion of the Holy Spirit will unite our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

I am grateful for faith communities who are learning that the Spirit’s precious and sweet fruit of patience is indispensable for discerning the mind of Christ—Christ “who has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Eph 1:14).       

— Sara Wenger Shenk, September 12, 2014
Read Sara's related blog post, "Patient Vigor' for Interesting Times"

The resources also include selected items, developed or coordinated by graduates, to which AMBS faculty have contributed.

About these Resources

In this space, AMBS faculty have begun to post resources that call us with patient vigor to:

  • Re-learn the spiritual disciplines necessary to hear God’s gracious Spirit in Scripture and in each other.
  • Listen to the full-orbed witness of Scripture with the best available skills of interpretation.
  • Prayerfully adopt a confessional posture in the midst of conflict.
  • Commit to pray for the well-being of our enemies, including those with whom we most vehemently disagree.
  • Be teachable—ready even to be broken open to receive a previously unrecognized word from the Lord: “You have heard it said…But I say to you….”
  • Locate our own stories within the arc of God’s Shalom Story.