She didn't speak for too long before stopping to address questions but she did an excellent job. The highlights for me (paraphrased, I didn't take notes!).
- The need for the church to approach the sex topic completely differently than it usually does. First, by not looking at the "No's" of sexual behavior but to God's "Yes" in how to conduct our bodies in a way that conforms more and more to the Gospel. Second, but not isolating sexual behavior as separate from any other sin or other spiritual disciplines. So that sex isn't just a six week Sunday school course or one sermon series, but contextualized in the greater discussion of our behavior and discipline and relationship to God and neighbor. And to not hold sexual behavior greater than other sins. Her example, a pastor who won't marry a couple who's engaging in premarital sex. What about a couple who is not tithing?
- The community aspect of the discourse on sex was, for Winner, the predominant theme. Sex matters because in joining one's body to the Body of Christ means what one does with that body is important to the Body. Sex is not an individual right.
- Only through community will the Church be able to hold better conversations about sex. But, underlying this, the Church must address the root restlessness in our society where we change job/neighborhood/church/state/etc. every three years or so. There's very little possibility for true, deep community in that kind of transient living.
I was surprised at the small numbers, I thought, for a nationally known author and speaker, but I was very glad to see some of our pastors and the youth ministry leadership there. And also nice to share the afternoon with wonderful women. I was actually away from my children from 9:00 until 4:30, thanks to my dear husband and gracious mother-in-law who was supposed to be on jury duty until the case was dismissed at 10:00 that morning. Providence.