Pro-homosexuality Bishop Sprague's Annual Conference To Teach Homosexuality And Other Perversions To Sunday School Children's Sunday School
700-23 REFLECTING THE LOVE OF GOD
Passed as amended in Plenary, June 7, 2003.
WHEREAS, as Christians we are called to embody God's love in the world, and as United Methodist Christians, we are united in our faith in God, our love of Christ and our commitment to seek and do God's will as empowered by the Holy Spirit; and
WHEREAS, for the past two decades General Conference actions have added increasingly condemnatory and exclusionary language to the Book of Discipline concerning the full participation of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgendered person in our denomination; and
WHEREAS, the church is deeply divided on issues related to God's gift of sexual orientation, and any pretense that we are of one mind only serves to deepen the estrangement and isolation of those who are excluded, and imposes premature closure upon the church's search to faithfully discern the will of God;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church affirms that human sexuality is a good gift of God and understands that homosexuality, heterosexuality and bi-sexuality all share that gift; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we believe that the current statement in the United Methodist Book of Discipline that "homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching" is not reflective of the historic Wesleyan unwillingness to limit prerogatives which belong solely to God, and is not representative of every Biblical/theological perspective; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we commit to proclaim that homosexual orientation (no less or more than heterosexual orientation) can be compatible with Christian teaching. We encourage clergy to preach this from our pulpits and expose our parishioners to the fullness of the Scriptural witness on related matters in our Bible studies, and we encourage lay people to each it in our Sunday school classes and tell it to our children; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we affirm that loving, monogamous, intimate relationships between persons of the same or opposite gender, are an expression of God's love; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we affirm the historic charge of United Methodist clergy to be in ministry according to their best discernment among the people entrusted to their care.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, we affirm that persons of all sexual orientations are equally called to ordained ministry. As clergy we will affirm god's call to ordained ministry as experienced by candidates for ministry regardless of a person's sexual orientation and welcome then into the clergy covenant, and as lay persons we will similarly affirm that call and we will offer ourselves fully in mutual ministry with pastors of our churches regardless of that person's sexual orientation.
Methodist Federation for Social Action]
Rev. Bob Campbell, Legislative Coordinator
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