Inspired by the 2012 vote to amend the Minnesota constitution to “…provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota”, members of The Episcopal Church of the Nativity believed this measure called for our holy response.
We concluded that the sacrament of marriage should not be withheld based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We did not believe the Minnesota state constitution should be used to enshrine discrimination, deny, or abrogate rights, or leave persons vulnerable. We joined the Episcopal Church in Minnesota in opposing that amendment.
More than 60 individual voices were engaged in coming to this conclusion. We concluded that the issue was first and foremost a spiritual one, we had the responsibility to speak and give our voice to the cause of inclusive affirmation, spoken through and for the body of Christ.
Every Sunday at Nativity our worship includes many LGBT parishioners; we are vibrantly engaged together in church life!
Accordingly, in April of 2012, people of Nativity affirmed that:
God is big and diverse and made us all in God’s image, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity.
Marriage is, first of all, a sacrament. In marriage, couples receive strength from the Holy Spirit to sustain a loving and committed relationship through which God graces the world with overflowing spiritual gifts such as love, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion.
In our Baptismal Covenant, we promise to seek and serve Christ in all people; to love our neighbors as ourselves; to strive forjustice and peace among all people; and to respect the dignity of every human being. These promises call us to action when this is needed to oppose injustice and discrimination.
Nativity seeks to remove barriers to Jesus Christ and to include all people in community.
We acknowledge that there are differing views among Christians on these issues. Surely, spiritual work is needed to reconcile the voices. As part of this discussion, our Vicar suggested we leave this work to the Holy Spirit. He said: “Christ has spent your lifetime trying to instill his word of love in you, so in turn this word could be articulated to a hurting world.” He asked: ”What is it of Christ that you believe has come to be expressed in you? The word that Christ has richly cared for in you, we need to hear.”
The word that Christ has placed upon our hearts is love. God’s love for all, prevailing.