Reconciling Statement of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Ithaca NY (revised February 2022)
Because we are an invitational church we, as members of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, affirm Christ’s unconditional invitation to seek a personal relationship with God.
Because we are an inclusive, caring congregation striving to grow in faith and understanding, and in harmony with the inclusive values of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), we support the affirmation of RMN: “We celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness made possible in community equally shared and shepherded by all. We welcome and affirm people of every gender, identity, gender expression and sexual orientation who are also of every age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education, family structure, and of every economic, immigration, marital, and social status, and so much more. We acknowledge that we live in a world of profound social, economic and political inequities. As followers of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pledge to stand in solidarity with all who are marginalized and oppressed.” 1
Because we are a Christ-centered church, we believe that in Christ there are only two commandments. We must love God with all our heart and soul, and we must love our neighbor as ourselves.
Because we are in the Methodist tradition, we rejoice in our church’s history of fighting injustice and oppression, and of calling attention to the needs and rights of all persons. We challenge ourselves and our denomination to affirm in word and deed the fundamental spiritual principle that all people are children of God. While the United Methodist Book of Discipline excludes LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two Spirit, Plus) people from participating fully in ordination and marriage, we at St. Paul’s UMC believe in, include, and affirm the call of God on all people’s lives.
Because we are a people of faith, we believe that it is a part of our ministry and God’s plan to affirm the glorious diversity of our community, including LGBTQIA2S+ siblings. We pray that in doing so we will encourage all persons of faith as they work for God’s Glory.
Because we are a compassionate community led and transformed by the Spirit, we believe we are called to invite all Christians, including those that the Book of Discipline (BOD) 2 would exclude, into full ministry and membership of the Church, including communion, baptism, marriage, and ordination if so called by God. We commit to growing, learning, and changing to fully support God’s call and vision for each person.
We hereby reaffirm our commitment to the basic principles of our faith and declare St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, a Reconciling Congregation, to be a community of faith into which all are invited, welcomed, and celebrated as beloved children of God.
1 RMN September 2020
2 BOD 2016 ceremonies for unions, ¶¶ 341.6, 2702.1b
BOD 2016 chargeable offenses involving, ¶ 2702.1b
BOD 2016 funding prohibition, ¶¶ 613.19, 806.9
BOD 2016 ordination candidacy, ¶304.3
BOD 2016 “self-avowed practicing,” ¶¶ 304.3, 2702.1b
BOD 2016 social principles, ¶ 161G