Petition 80150

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Church in Ministry (80150-C2-R33)

Replace existing Resolution #33, Church to Be in Ministry to Persons of All Sexual Orientations, with the following resolution:

   WHEREAS, we affirm our belief in the inestimable worth of each individual because we are human beings created by God and loved through and by Jesus Christ, and we affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God (Preamble to Social Principles and ¶161 2004 Book of Discipline); and
    WHEREAS, baptism is God’s gift of unmerited grace through the Holy Spirit and marks the entrance of persons into the church and its ministries of love, justice, and service (¶305, 2004 Book of Discipline); and
    WHEREAS, we affirm that through baptism God has made us members of one body of Christ so that all who follow Jesus have spiritual gifts to share for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:  4-27); and
    WHEREAS, we believe that homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth and that all persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self (¶ 161G 2004 Book of Discipline); and
   WHEREAS, the teachings and actions of Jesus demonstrated radical inclusions of those rejected by mainstream society;
   Therefore, be it resolved, that The United Methodist Church dedicate itself to a ministry of Christ-like hospitality and compassion to persons of all sexual orientations, and to a vision of unity through openness to the spiritual gifts of all those who have been baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ.  Such ministry and openness may include:  welcoming sexual minorities, their friends, and families into our churches and demonstrating our faith in a loving God; a willingness to listen and open our hearts to their stories and struggles in our churches, districts, annual conferences, and General Conference; encouraging study and dialogue around issues of sexuality; and praying with all those who are in pain and discord over our Christian response to this controversial issue.