Proposed Resolution for Disciples of Christ General Assembly next summer


One way the CCDOC functions nationally is to meet every two years in General Assembly, the next one being this summer in Orlando. Part of our time together is made considering and voting on resolutions, that mainly express who we are as an international confederation of communities. Some of the resolutions are so bland and generic as to mean nothing. Others, though, end up saying a lot, and really get to an authentic expression of being Jesus’ disciples in the world today.

We hope to have such an example up for consideration this summer. One way resolutions can be brought up is by a significant number of individual congregations proposing them. I hope to have Open Hearts Gathering as a proposing community for the resolution written out below. Several other communities around the US have already officially signed on. So….please make some time to read the resolution below. If you think OHG should sign on as well, or not, please let me know. As soon as possible. I hope to let the other congregations know by the end of this month if we are on board or not.
Please get back to me here, or through my contact info. at the About tab. Thanks for your input, I Love you all!

-Pastor -D

Draft of Proposed Resolution
September 5, 2012

Proposed Resolution on a Declaration to Proclaim the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) a People of Grace and Welcome
to All

WHEREAS, we, the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) understand ourselves to be a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world, called to
welcome others even as we have been welcomed by God (Mk. 12:31) [Statement of Identity of the CC (DOC), Disciples.org] and to practice hospitality to one another (1
Timothy 5:10; 1 Peter 4:9), as well as to strangers (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2);

WHEREAS, past General Assemblies (2001, 2005, 2011) have affirmed our scriptural belief that all humans are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–7), and share with all
others the worth that comes from being unique individuals;

WHEREAS, we know that as Christians we are many members, but are one body in Christ–members of one another, and that we all have different gifts (Rom. 12:4–6). With
Jesus we affirm that we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 7:12), and that we are called to the ministry of reconciliation and wholeness within the world and
within the church itself (2 Cor. 5:18–20);

WHEREAS, Disciples have historically determined “to speak where the Bible speaks, and to be silent where the Bible is silent” with respect to “tests of fellowship”;

WHEREAS, the Bible—because it occupies a different cultural world, often with different social relationships than are present today—is silent on questions of the explicit issue of
contemporary understandings of sexual orientation and gender identity;

WHEREAS, Disciples affirm baptism as the primary call to ministry, and offer baptism to all who profess their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior;

WHEREAS, Disciples profess that the nature of Christian discipleship is profoundly informed by a common table, which is central to the act of worship. This emphasis on
communion calls attention to the radical nature of the hospitality extended by Jesus–an act that welcomes all to be received at the Lord’s table of grace. In centering our worship
on the Lord’s table, Disciples cannot but remember that our very birth as a movement came at Cane Ridge in reaction to limitations being placed on this welcome, and
later in Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address;

WHEREAS, Disciples emerged as a movement centered on a call to Christian unity as our “polar star,” who must recognize that cutting off anyone who seeks the hospitality of
the Lord’s table is a profound act of disunity;

WHEREAS, Disciples have been engaged in a process of discernment on the question of the participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ)
Christians in the life and ministry of the church since 1997 with mixed results;

WHEREAS, we know that people who are LGBTIQ, who often find themselves scorned by the people of God, are devalued and discriminated against within society, and more
sadly within the church;

AND WHEREAS, it is understood that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) operates with a congregational polity whereby local congregations have final say in matters
of conscience;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) declares itself as a denomination to be a people of grace and welcome to all God’s children–
inclusive of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, or physical ability;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) affirms the faith of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and does
not view any sexual orientation or gender identity as sinful, or as grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church, but as a part of God’s good creation;

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that all manifestations of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as a people of grace and welcome, are encouraged similarly to declare their
support for the welcome of and hospitality to all Christians, regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, nationality, ethnicity, marital status,
physical ability, documentation, or legal status.

2 Comments

  1. If you really mean this, then you understand what I’ve always hoped. That the feelings I was born with and cannot change, any more than a “straight” man could be told only a loving relationship with another man is the only way to find acceptance from God. That man could only pretend throughout his life to be something else, which would be living a lie. That man might find it easier to “give up” on God rather than live the impossible for himself to be accepted. I would and will gladly visit your church & continue to seek God & his will for my life with others who would try to understand & support my sincerity to have a relationship with my Creator because I DO believe he loves me & I tried to live that lie for so long & I’m so tired. So very tired. Will anyone agree with me in Christ that whatever his plan for me- that your church is a place I can do that without fear?

    Reply
    • John, in short, yes, we really mean this, believe this, and work every day to live this. If you’re interested in being a part of a community which celebrates God’s Love for everyone, then please join us when you can! Look for more info. on our next Gathering Dec. 16 coming up soon, here, and at our Facebook page- http://www.facebook.com/openheartsgathering – and contact me in the meantime if you need anything else. Thanks, I look forward to meeting you!

      Pax,

      Pastor -D

      Reply

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  1. As General Assembly approaches, we have to brag a bit here…. | Open Hearts Gathering - [...] OHG, along with several other congregations, connected especially through The Disciples GLAD Alliance, have put forth a Resolution that …

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