The church’s journey with sexuality
In the last two years Ted has been approached by several people about writing a show based on the church’s journey with sexuality. It’s a difficult subject to know how to talk about, not least because it affects all of us and yet all of us experience it in very personal and very different ways.
Well, the time has come. Ted has spent the last few months exploring a topic that makes many of us uncomfortable, to perhaps understate it. This project isn’t meant to answer or “side” with a specific viewpoint on “the homosexuality question.” It’s not meant to take a specific biblical viewpoint on what is sin and what is not sin. The task is more difficult. It is to provide space for a genuine conversation to emerge in the church; a place for hearing different voices with varied views and histories. The intent of this show is to offer hope.
The show will debut on October 25 in Newton, Kansas. But as with every Ted & Company production, this project is a work in progress as the responses of audiences often shape what the show will become.
It follows a father struggling with the news that his son his gay. What does it mean for him personally, for his family, for his church? The father visits with various people in his community and his own family in his search for answers.
Here is a “behind-the-scenes-look” at some of the lines Ted is working with as he finishes up his work on the show:
Father: “It was hard for him, to tell me. And I felt… what… confusion, and pain… pain that it was so hard for him to talk to me… his father. And… I didn’t want him to tell anyone else.”
Family Friend: “I can’t accept one more thing. I just don’t have the energy. Who’s to say it will stop with this… Okay, divorce, that used to be taboo, right? But then people did it anyway. What do we stand for Daryl? Do we just accept everything the world does, don’t we have to question whether we are harming the church forever? So divorce… that’s okay now. Then it was women in leadership. That also seemed pretty clear for a long time. Now look around. For many, it’s not even an issue to discuss. Are we just getting… what, smarter? 35 years ago, were we just ignorant? Is that always progress?”
Cousin: “A typical day for us? After Mike and I get up from a refreshing night of gay sleeping, we have a gay cup of coffee together, granola — no eggs because we both struggle with gay cholesterol, I’m off to my job as a gay systems analyst, while Mike sashays off to his very gay job as a director of development for a dance company. At 6:30 we are both home again, taking turns whipping up gay meals like Vietnamese fried rice from the Mennonite More with Less Cookbook…a little gay TV perhaps, that gay New York Time crossword. And then after an exhausting day of all that gayness, off to bed, because you know, at our age we need our rest.”
If you are in the area, come out to the show on October 25 in Newton, KS. Think this might be a good conversation-starter for your church? Let us know and we can look at coming to your area.
Ted is planning to come to our church and presenting a show on the church’s journey with sexuality. Will this show make people laugh or will it be a serious show?
Thank you, Troy and Jessica Hoeltzle
Thanks for the question. Ted’s show Learning to Play is both funny and serious. I have been a part of two audiences that saw parts of the show and people laughed at times, but there were also very serious parts and some rather emotional points for some audience members. I would say to go and experience the play, being prepared that it is addressing a tough issue in the church right now, but it’s also Ted performing — and he finds ways to weave humor into even the serious stuff!
Ted & Company Administrative Coordinator