This is the statement we are sharing with the delegate assembly of Mennonite Church USA on July 5, 2103 in Phoenix, Arizona.
We come to you as Mennonites who are burdened by our church’s practices of exclusion, silence, and violence towards gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people. We carry with us not only the faces of lgbt sisters and brothers, but also their hopes and dreams of a church whose language of welcome and justice matches its actual practices.
It is right that as a church we carefully and prayerfully examine the meaning and disparities of race and citizenship as it is practiced in our country and in our church. We seek to understand the ways that our prejudices and privilege have hardened our hearts to the suffering of immigrant people. We repent of the ways that we have contributed to the diminishment of others by our votes, indifference or blatant support of injustice. Lives matter to God, and the cries of the marginalized do not go unnoticed.
In this same spirit, we call upon the Mennonite Church to repent for its harsh and unwelcoming treatment of the sisters and brothers, parents, teachers, leaders, friends and family among us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. As Pink Mennos, we refuse to allow our leaders to pit marginalized groups and people against one another in the name of unity or convenience. We reject the premise that our church is incapable of understanding the insidious connections of oppression and privilege as they are played out on the bodies of immigrants, women, children, people of color, lgbt people and the many who are excluded from full participation in our church and society. We bear witness to the pain and loss that accompanies the violence of rejection, exclusion, silencing, condemnation and complacency. We affirm MLK, Jr.’s jailhouse words that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Today we bring before you our faces, our yearnings, our bodies, our dreams, our faith, and declare that we refuse to be strangers to one another. As followers of Jesus, we cannot, and will not rest until the Mennonite Church abandons its exclusionary impulses and embraces the width and breadth of God’s welcome, so that all may participate fully and God’s kin-dom is made whole.
Video of statement
Jump to 28:00 to watch Katie read the statement in the convention live stream archive: