Declaration of Inclusivity

The St. Francis Declaration of Inclusivity - Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors -  has been drafted by the Something New Committee and approved by the Church Council. We asked Bishop Bob Hoshibata how St Francis can be a leader in the response to the actions of the 2019 General Conference.  He charged us to make a strong & specific statement and then to garner as many signatures to the statement as possible. The signatures were taken to the Desert Southwest Conference and the result was the Resolution to Disavow the passing of the Traditional Plan.

Please read the statement below and, if you agree, sign it by typing your name at the end of the statement and submitting your signature electronically, then read the subsequent Resolution to Disavow passed by the Desert Sounthwest Conference. St. Francis is continuing to lead the way!

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

 

In February 2019 the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to close their hearts, minds and doors to LGBTQIA+ individuals.  We as the faith based community of St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church stand in total opposition to this decision. 

 

  • We assert that all people are beloved children of God and are of sacred worth.  We strive to welcome everyone at St. Francis in the Foothills and call on all congregations to extend a similar welcome.

  • We pledge to continue to celebrate the covenant of straight and same-gender weddings in our church and our pastors will continue to conduct these weddings with the full support of our faith community. 

  • We proclaim that all persons should be free to be ordained, appointed and serve their congregations without fear of trial for who they love or who God created them to be.

 

We the undersigned members and friends of St. Francis in the Foothills wish to state our commitment to continue being a community with open hearts, minds and doors.

Our open hearts will never file charges against a pastor who officiates at the marriage of a loving, same-gender couple.

Our open minds accept the diversity of all God’s children.

Our open doors welcome all persons seeking the love of God and a faith community.

 

Our open hearts, open minds and open doors capture the “Love your neighbor as yourself” fundamental teaching of Jesus. Our neighbors are whoever needs to be welcomed at the door, listened to with an open mind and loved in our hearts.

 

We cannot and will not abide by the definition of the “United Methodist Church” as voted upon by the 2019 General Conference.  We will not close our hearts, minds or doors to anyone.

 

We invite the wider church body to join us in dreaming about what a new church will be.  Help us to create this church at the congregational, conference and global levels.

 

Signed:

A Resolution to Disavow the passing of the Traditional Plan

passed at Desert Southwest Conference’s Annual Conference

Whereas using contextual biblical scholarship, there is no biblical mandate to discriminate against LGBTQ+ persons and relationships;

 

Whereas The United Methodist Church is capable of great nuance in the matter of biblical interpretations displayed in its treatment of issues such as divorce and the ordination of women, but reverts to simplistic literalism when it comes to the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in its life and ministry;

 

Whereas The United Methodist Church has singled out LGBTQ+ persons and their supporters for special punitive action while ignoring the “clear biblical teaching” on other matters such as pensions (Matthew 6:19-20);

 

Whereas in our Wesleyan tradition the first general rule that John Wesley gave the people called Methodists concerns “doing no harm.”

 

Whereas United Methodists promise “to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves;”

 

Whereas by passing the Traditional Plan, the denomination has done great, and perhaps irreparable harm to our 

LGBTQ+ siblings and The United Methodist Church as a whole; and

 

Whereas for the past 10 years, the Desert Southwest Conference has declared itself to be a Reconciling Conference;

Whereas for the past 10 years, the Desert Southwest Conference has declared itself to be a Reconciling Conference;

 

now, therefore, be it be resolved, that the Desert Southwest Conference:

1. condemns the decision of the 2019 General       Conference to pass the Traditional Plan and apologizes for the harm that it has caused LGBTQ+ persons, their families, friends, and the body of Christ;

2. affirms that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God; and

3. asserts and affirms that no human being is incompatible with Christian teaching.

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St Francis in the Foothills
4625 E River Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85718
(520) 299-9063

© 2019 by Melissa Mitchell & KKC Bauder