I have been asked to share the position paper used to introduce the legislation asking the United Methodists in Minnesota to publicly oppose the marriage amendment:
On behalf of the 17 churches and 2 coalitions who bring before you this legislation (Walker Community UMC, Richfield UMC, Lake Harriet UMC, Simpson UMC, Table 31 UMC, Prospect Park UMC, Epworth UMC, The Peace and Justice and Reconciling Committees of Hennepin Ave UMC, Edina Good Samaritan UMC, Minnehaha UMC, Minnetonka UMC, Golden Valley Spirit of Hope UMC, St Anthony Faith UMC, Excelsior UMC, Shoreview Peace UMC, Duluth First UMC, Minnesota Reconciling Retired Clergy Caucus, and United Methodists for Marriage Equality)
On behalf of the people in our pews and those outside our doors who wonder what being zealous in the ways of love means to the people of the United Methodist Church.
On behalf of my children, and maybe yours, who long for this Jesus movement to live the embrace of open hearts, minds, door and open mouths regarding full inclusion of all God’s beloveds.
On behalf of the movement of grace meant to hold and support the well being of all families.
I ask that the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church speak a loud “no” to the double barricading of human and civil rights represented by the legislative attempt to amend the constitution of this, our state parish.
We bring this resolution believing that in Minnesota, at least, we can agree that we disagree around theological issues regarding the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in our communities of faith.
What we do NOT disagree on is the long-standing insistence on the part of people called United Methodists that we stand, as scripture and our Discipline proclaim, with those oppressed by cultural systems that would deny equal rights.
Our Discipline states that “we are guided in developing our ministries by heeding concerns generated by great human struggles for dignity, liberation and fulfillment… These concerns are borne by theologies that express the heart cries of the downtrodden and the aroused indignation of the compassionate.” (Book of Discipline, The Present Challenge to Theology in the Church)
The indignation of the compassionate is aroused when one population is singled out and denied the some 515 rights and privileges accorded those who live in differently-gendered marriage.
We know to be real the heart cries of members of our churches.
We know to be real the distress of those who wonder if the United Methodist Church really seeks to embody the vows made by members: that we will resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
We bring this resolution because it is time for us to claim publicly that we support all families.
And, we covenant to support civic and human rights that support all to live love with those God has given their hearts to cherish.
This is a great human struggle for dignity, liberation, and fulfillment.
We are the people of Jesus, called to respond to oppression with the zeal of love.
Our children, our churches, our parishioners, our state, our movement and our God call us to no less.
Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay
June 1, 2012