MC Canada to receive sexual inclusivity motionBy Mennonite Weekly Review staff
WINNIPEG, MAN. — A group advocating inclusion of gays in the church will present a motion to the Mennonite Church Canada annual assembly in Waterloo, Ont., in early July.
According to Canadian Mennonite, the motion comes from the group Harmony: Mennonites for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) Inclusion, a grassroots initiative of MC Canada members.
The denomination’s general secretary, Willard Metzger, and other church leaders recently met with members of Harmony to discuss the motion.
Harmony will ask MC Canada delegates to acknowledge that:
n Non-heterosexuals are struggling within congregations, whether or not they have publicly acknowledged their orientation and whether or not they are in a relationship with another person; and
n All Christians have a legitimate place in God’s kingdom and in the church.
The motion calls on MC Canada to urge congregations to take seriously the call to continue in loving dialogue and to fully embrace — by inviting and welcoming into their midst — all people, including non-heterosexual members, adherents and neighbors.
Harmony is bringing the motion 25 years after the national assembly passed a statement on sexuality known as the Saskatoon Resolution. It reads in part: “We understand the Bible to teach that sexual intercourse is reserved for a man and a woman united in marriage, and that violation of this teaching is a sin. It is our understanding that this teaching also precludes premarital, extramarital and homosexual sexual activity.”
Ben Borne, a coordinator of Harmony and incoming student council president at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Man., said the Saskatoon Resolution has been used to make non-heterosexual people feel excluded.
Harmony believes the resolution has caused pain, resulting in silence for individuals, their families and communities, and has led to schisms, withdrawals and expulsions of individuals, their families and supporting congregations within MC Canada.
Metzger, the general secretary, said he was prepared for difficult discussions on sexuality at the conference.
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