Our Reconciling Ministries Covenant
Consistent with our ongoing mission and commitment to overcome racism, sexism, ageism, and class, Canton United Methodist Church hereby joins the witness to open the doors of The United Methodist Church to the participation of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, by declaring itself to be a Reconciling Congregation.
It is incompatible with Christian teaching and scripture to discriminate against anyone. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that all people are welcome in, and a part of, the family of God and that our greatest mission is to love one another. Loving one another, then -- without exception -- is a requirement of living a Christian life. No one is to be excluded from the family of Christ or from Christ's home -- the church. Becoming a Reconciling Congregation, is an opportunity for spiritual growth through becoming more Christ-like in our capacity to love. As a part of becoming a Reconciling Congregation:
Canton UMC will not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in any of its hiring, including pastoral, lay, or teaching staff.
Canton UMC is committed to ministries and programs that respond to the needs of our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered brothers and sisters and their families.
Canton UMC is committed to being involved with those who are acting to change United Methodist policies prohibiting same-sex marital rites and ordination of openly gay or lesbian persons.
Canton UMC is committed to supporting the Reconciling Congregation Program with our gifts and witness.
Canton UMC is committed to search/work for a Biblical understanding of the issue of full acceptance and inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, as well as other issues.
As we journey toward reconciliation, we recognize that there remain differences of opinion among us on issues relating to sexuality. We do not seek to erase our differences, but to journey together in faith toward greater understanding and mutual respect
All this is from God, who reconciled us . . . through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
(II Corinthians 5:18)
In becoming a Reconciling Congregation, we believe that we are being reconciled to God and to one another.