Statement of Reconciliation
We believe that the body and spirit of all persons are manifestations of God’s love; we strongly support the Statement of Social Principles of the United Methodist Church when it names all human beings as person of sacred worth and as it affirms human sexuality as a gift of God.
We have experienced the gifts which lesbians, gay men and bisexuals bring to our church and community life. We are aware that often in the midst of making their contributions to our church community they are marginalized by attitudes of the church and society which imply or state outright that it is not acceptable to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. In addition, we acknowledge that failure to recognize such attitudes perpetuates the raising of barriers. Not only do we seek to change our individual attitudes but the structures that prevent people from freely and openly fulfilling their spirituality as part of the church.
We are deeply concerned that the United Methodist Church has instituted a policy that excludes lesbians and gay men, and presumably bisexual people in same-gender relationships, from ordained ministry and which compels those who would be ordained to live by deception.
We know that education in all its many forms breaks down barriers. We recognize that it is important for our growth as individuals and as a community of faith to invest time and resources to educate ourselves about our sexuality.
THEREFORE, as a congregation responding to Christ’s call to be a healing and reconciling people:
We affirm lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, their partners and families as full participants in our community of faith.
We support and sustain lesbians, gay men and bisexuals, those involved in committed relationships, and gay, lesbian and bisexual families in the same way that we support and sustain heterosexual individuals and those involved in committed heterosexual relationships and families.
We encourage and work for the full acceptance of gay, lesbian and bisexual persons in the life of the church in all its roles and responsibilities. We affirm our openness to receive a minister who is lesbian, gay or bisexual.
We believe and will teach that reconciliation with all people and with God is our mission as individuals and as a community of faith.
We join the Reconciling Congregation Program to continue seeking God’s truth with the church at large.
[Prospect Park UMC became a Reconciling Congregation in January 1990; this statement was amended in January 1994]