Calvary’s Church in Society Welcoming Statement, adopted April 2019.
We believe that all persons are created in God’s image and are of sacred worth. We welcome and affirm the full inclusion of all people in the life and ministries of our group as we journey toward reconciliation through Christ. Led by the Holy Spirit, we celebrate the gift of our community’s diversity of gender, race, mental and physical ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, social status, employment status, housing status, family status, age, faith history, ethnic origin, nationality, education background, and other ways that make each individual unique. We embrace our differences as a source of strength as we journey together toward greater understanding, mutual respect, and love for each other in our commitment to humbly serve God. We commit to live out our faith together by working for social justice and change, as we seek the transformation of our community and our world through the love of Jesus Christ for ALL.
Creating this statement was our first step in becoming a Reconciling Small Group with the Reconciling Ministries Network (https://rmnetwork.org/). This network has over 40,000 individual members as well as over 1,000 congregations and small groups who belong. Each group or individual must agree to engage in outreach, welcome, and ministry with and for LGBTQ persons in the local setting. They must create ongoing opportunities to engage in dialogue, build relationships, and advocate for the necessary changes to the discriminatory statements and policies in our Book of Discipline including those that prohibit same-sex marriage officiated by UM clergy, same-sex marriage ceremonies held in our sanctuaries, and the ordination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons called to ministry.