General Commission on the Status and Role of Women develops sexual ethics resources

February 04, 2019

Story by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) has developed new sexual ethics resources to be utilized by annual conferences and local churches to address sexual misconduct and harassment. All resources are available online and are free to download off of the gcsrw.org and umsexualethics.org websites.

In partnership with Chocolate Moose Media, GCSRW produced a five-minute animation, “Whispers with Stones,” aiming to create social and behavioral change around sexual harassment in the church and society. The video can be shown to churches, small groups, and Sunday schools to address the sexual misconduct that happens in our congregations and world. Along with each video is an accompanying guide to be used by a leader to facilitate conversation after the viewing of the animation.

This resource has been translated into ten languages and will be uploaded to the GCSRW website throughout 2019. The video has already won multiple international media awards.

“The issue of sexual harassment has risen to the forefront of human consciousness,” Firdaus Kharas, director of the video and founder of Chocolate Moose Media said. “For far too long it was tolerated and denied. There have been too many victims, particularly women. This video, produced by the Commission, is a bold, commendable and long overdue tool to act as a catalyst for churchgoers throughout the world to speak about the issue. Healing of the past and preventing the future will only come about through dialogue.”

The Way of Integrity curriculum was released at Do No Harm 2018. Inspired by The Integrity Project at Emory University, this curriculum was developed to give participants the opportunity to understand themselves and develop self-awareness. Through deep exploration of scripture and other resources, participants will give intentional attention to core values and the development of self-awareness in all they do, resulting in life-giving relationships with one another. This resource is easily adaptable to a sermon series, use in spiritual formation groups, Sunday school classes, youth ministry, campus ministry, and other settings.

“Within the past two years, clergy and laity have asked us for a resource to address relationship building between people participating in ministry settings,” Senior Director Becky Posey Williams stated. “They name a common concern regarding persons interacting with one another in ways which reflect disrespect toward the other and an absence of integrity. Integrity is one of the most character defining attributes a person can have.  Our character is what we leave this world and we each will decide what it will be.  Integrity defines who you are, your values, and what you will stand up for. It also shapes how you will navigate through challenging times, staying grounded in your values….no matter what.”

On January 23, 2018, GCSRW released a joint statement with the Council of Bishops in support of the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movement. After requests from the connection on how to address the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements in local churches, GCSRW developed the #MeToo Toolkit. The toolkit was distributed to every annual conference in the United States and has been available at United Methodist events such as UMW Assembly. The free resource is available for download at gcsrw.org under curriculum. Physical copies can be requested by calling the GCSRW office at 312-346-4900.

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The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women advocates for full participation of women in the total life of The United Methodist Church. GCSRW helps the church recognize every person – clergy and lay, women and men, adults and children – as full and equal parts of God’s human family. They believe that a fully engaged and empowered membership is vital to The United Methodist Church’s mission "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”