Declaration of Commitment to LGBTQIA+ Persons at SWM
The Gospel of God’s love in Jesus Christ proclaims that, by grace, God’s family has always already included all of humanity. The Church, as the Body of Christ, is called to keep up with and reflect God’s inclusivity. We, the members of South Wedge Mission, recognize that LGBTQIA+ persons have always been a part of Christ’s Body, and of our congregation. We celebrate the gifts of beauty and resiliency that God has given the world, and the Church, through their struggles and their joys.
We must also confess and lament that the Church has too often failed God’s LGBTQIA+ children, causing irrevocable harm while distorting the truth of the Gospel of grace. We, the members of the South Wedge Mission, seek to actively embrace the call to repentance and continual conversion regarding the Church’s failures towards the LGBTQIA+ community. We cannot fully or faithfully represent the Body of Christ until LGBTQIA+ voices, experiences and bodies are fully and unequivocally recognized as indispensable members of that Body, by the entire Body.
As a practice-based congregation, we the members of the South Wedge Mission commit to the joyful work of creating truly inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA+ persons, while pursuing repentance, reconciliation and reparation, in the following ways:
+OUR LANGUAGE – normalizing the sharing of pronouns by all participants; proactively using expansive language in worship;
+OUR BUILDING – maintenance of non-binary bathrooms; flying the rainbow flag; commitment to formal “Safe Space Training” at earliest opportunity
+OUR FORMATION – privileging LGBTQIA+ voices in our study of scripture and tradition; commitment to interrogating and interrupting cis- heteronormative and gender binary biases, especially around family structure and awareness; including these commitments in childrens’ formation
+OUR LIFE TOGETHER – actively inviting LGBTQIA+ persons into public leadership roles in worship and congregational governance; proclaiming and practicing marriage equality; celebrating and grieving LGBTQIA+ joys and sorrows
+OUR DENOMINATIONS – becoming a Reconciling in Christ community; advocating for reform and representation of LGBTQIA+ persons at all levels; challenging cis- heteronormative biases and sources of oppression
+OUR PUBLIC WITNESS – working through an intersectional lens to understand, advocate and stand in solidarity with LGBTQIA+ persons and groups; showing up for and promoting events (pride, black pride, trans days of remembrance, etc)
+OUR GROWING – maintaining a posture of openness to further practices as they arise
We humbly acknowledge that the work is never done. Even so, with hope and with joy, we proclaim the original belovedness of God’s LGBTQIA+ children, and seek to reflect that reality in the life of our community, by the grace of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the love of Christ. Amen.
Statement accepted by unanimous vote of the SWM membership on 11.17.19.