Inclusivity Committee Delivers Report to Church Council: Leading the way in open conversation
Recognizing the importance of open conversation within our congregation regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ persons as our congregation moves toward the General Conference Special Session on the Way Forward, and under the leadership of a dedicated team of Church Members, the Church Council approved the Proposal to the Church Council to Commission an Inclusivity Committee in September 2017. Throughout the past year and a half, this team has worked hard to ensure that every member of the church has a chance to contribute their voice and experience to the conversation. The proposal called for “a [fearless] conversation to explore the role and status of the LGBTQ community in our church and in doing so include the full range of views and perspectives of members of the congregation in this discussion.” The Church Council is pleased to report that this work has been a resounding success.
The Inclusivity Committee was guided by John Wesley’s quadrilateral of tradition, experience, reason and scripture. They invited every member to participate in small group sessions to share their experiences around inclusivity. They held a panel discussion on reason including perspectives from a sociologist, a psychologist and biologist. Then, in October 2018, they invited three Methodist clergy to share their perspectives on what Scriptures have to say about gender.
The Church Council recognizes and celebrates the thorough work and dedication of the Inclusivity Committee members to follow through with meeting all parts of the Proposal approved in 2017. The full report from the committee will be part of the minutes of the April 2019 Church Council Meeting and will be available to all members upon request. For additional information, please visit the “Inclusivity” page on the Mountain View website. Please reach out to your Church Council Leaders or contact Inclusivity Committee members with questions or for more information. Committee members include Dick Habighorst, Connie Balasz, Adam Fortin, Elizabeth Kaufman, Belinda Strickland and Bruce Fest.
Through the leadership and dedication of these committee members and the willingness of all church members to be part of the conversation, Mountain View UMC is more prepared to support each other in our path forward. This conversation will continue in Church Council and throughout our membership as we consider the decisions made at the General Conference Special Session in February and as we continue to build an open and vital community on Christ’s Foundation.