Submitted for consideration by the Mennonite Church USA Convention at Kansas City, Missouri, July 2015. You are invited to scroll down to the form where you can add your name and/or group! Click here to see those who have signed. You can also read public comments and see the press release.
Whereas “the Bible is the essential book of the church,” the foundational document for Anabaptist/Mennonite Christians
- God delights in the diversity of Divine creation and created humankind in the Divine image (Genesis 1)
- The Hebrew prophets proclaim that God desires justice and seeks to free those who are oppressed (Micah 6:8; Amos 5:24; Isaiah 1:17)
- Jesus, who is the “center and fulfillment” of the whole of Scripture, offers radical hospitality to those traditionally despised by the religious institutions of his day and teaches that love is the fulfillment of the law (Matthew 22:37-40)
- The earliest church struggled with questions regarding inclusion of Gentiles and was led by the Spirit to fully and enthusiastically include this group that had long been outsiders to the Jewish people (Acts 15.)
Whereas the current policies of MCUSA do violence to the personhood of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people by forcing them to choose between full acceptance by their denomination and living into the abundant life to which God calls them
Whereas the current policies of MCUSA communicate demeaning and destructive messages that contribute to many LGBTQ people leaving their beloved denomination and even their faith in Jesus Christ
Whereas the current “teaching position” of MCUSA falsely labels all physically intimate same-sex relationships as “sinful,” thus leading some Christians to question their worth in the eyes of God and, in some cases, to attempt/commit suicide
Whereas the ongoing conversation and discernment around issues of sexuality is being perpetrated at the expense of LGBTQ Christians
Whereas “justice delayed is justice denied”
Whereas LGBTQ Christians are gifted by the Holy Spirit to contribute to the body of Christ as MCUSA seeks to “grow as communities of grace, joy and peace, so that God’s healing and hope flow through us to the world.”
Whereas the exclusion of LGBTQ people and their gifts harms the life and mission of the denomination
Whereas the oppressions of sexism, racism, and heterosexism are inextricably linked
Therefore, be it resolved that as members of MCUSA we will
- Repent of the violence our denominational documents and policies have done to LGBTQ people and those who have sought to support them
- Amend all church documents as needed to support full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life and ministry of the denomination at all levels of participation and service; such amendments will include but are not limited to: the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, the Membership Guidelines, and a Mennonite Polity for Ministerial Leadership
- Welcome LGBTQ Mennonites as a recognized constituency group at Constituency Leaders Council meetings
- Provide a generous seminary scholarship fund for LGBTQ students who are called to ministry and committed to the Mennonite church; this is as a means of offering reparations for the many called and gifted people who have been refused pastoral leadership in our denomination
- Extend grace and forbearance to those individuals, congregations, and conferences that will choose to remain in fellowship with MCUSA despite being at variance with the inclusive position of the denomination
 Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, Article 4
 Many of these points are gleaned from the paper “Response to IMMC Statement of Charge against Karl Shelly” by Karl Shelly.
 Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sign on or share a comment: