Petition 80559

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Church in Ministry (80559-C2-R33)

Amend and Readopt of Resolution No. 33  
WHEREAS, w 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 ¶ 65G and 66, 1996 Book of Discipline); and WHEREAS, B b aptism 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 (¶ 3 10 05, 1996 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. ; and WHEREAS, I  i n addressing the nurturing function of Christian fellowship, our United Methodist Social Principles assert that human sexuality is a complex gift of which we have limited understanding (¶  161G 161G). ; and WHEREAS, w We also 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). ; and WHEREAS, a An individual confronting his or her own minority sexual orientation and/or that of a close family member, friend, or associate often experiences isolation, confusion, and fear when he or she needs information, guidance, and support ("Teens at Risk," 2000 Book of Resolutions); and  
WHEREAS, we recognize that teens dealing with questions about sexual orientation are at a  
greater risk for suicide ("Teen Sexual Identity and Suicide Risk” Teens at Risk," 200 0 4 Book of Resolutions). ; and WHEREAS, t The teachings and actions of Jesus demonstrated radical inclusion of those rejected by mainstream society ; , and WHEREAS, a resolution was adopted at General Conference, 1996, which issued a call to our churches to reach out in love and compassion to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, becoming beacons of love in a stormy sea of hatred, discrimination, and violence ("Call for a Rebirth of Compassion," 2000 Book of Resolutions); and WHEREAS, we are called to renew our commitment to become faithful witnesses to the gospel, not alone to the ends of the earth, but also the depths of our common life and work (Preamble to the Social Principles). , 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 for all those who are in pain and discord over our Christian response to this controversial issue.  
ADOPTED 2000  

See Social Principles, ¶ 161G.