We Are a Reconciling Church
Minnehaha United Methodist Church opens our doors to all God’s people. We will strive to offer unconditional love and acceptance to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender. We will work to eliminate prejudice and discriminatory practices within ourselves and within our community.
The membership of Minnehaha United Methodist Church gathered Sunday, May 21, 2006, and overwhelmingly approved the statement of reconciling above. Minnehaha now stands among those congregations refusing to withhold God's love from anyone.
What is Reconciling?
It is people coming together, bridging chasms of misunderstanding; individuals and groups uniting and sharing values and goals. Reconciliation can be defined as the purpose of both the Christ and his Church—reconciling us with God’s love. “From first to last, this has been the work of God. He has reconciled us…to himself through Christ, and he has enlisted us in this service of reconciliation.” I Corinthians 5:18. Reconciliation, then, is the work of the whole Church. We believe that we can come to a consensus where all may be winners, and where the world around us will say, “Look how they love each other, even as they seek to live and do justice.”
What is a Reconciling Congregation?
In the United Methodist Church, a “Reconciling Congregation” is an official description of a church which has followed a prescribed process and voted to be welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.
Why are we discussing taking a stand on only this type of discrimination?
The official stance of the United Methodist Church is not welcoming to gays and lesbians. As a congregation, we can take a stand against our denomination, and declare that we do not agree and will not follow their lead in this matter. In addition, the laws in our country discriminate against GLBT people, and we believe as Christians that any form of discrimination stands against the teachings of Christ.
Why do we have to talk about things that make some of us uncomfortable?
One of our major purposes has been to help us raise and discuss difficult questions about prejudice. Of course, reconciling ministries deal specifically with differences around sexual identity and sexual orientation. Though such conversations are often a breaking of family and cultural taboos, we want to continue to listen respectfully to the fears and confusion, as well as the hopes and optimism, of everyone without judgment.