The GLAD Alliance has released a response to the recent hand wringing among those in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) over the prospect of a General Assembly resolution calling on the church to recognize itself as a place of welcome and grace for all—regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Here are some FAQs about why the resolution is necessary and what it is intended to do.
Appealing to the Provisional Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I’ve tried to offer an additional brief attempt to frame the need for a resolution:
As Disciples, we claim in the Design that “every person who is or shall become a member of a recognized congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) thereby holds membership” in the regional and general church. In other words, the Design asserts that one enters into a covenantal relationship with the CCDoC first at the congregational level. Notably lacking in this definition of membership is any qualifying or disqualifying characteristic. Consequently, if a local congregation receives a person into membership, that membership grants full access to fellowship and service within the whole church. Moreover, the Design provides for no mechanism whereby that membership can be qualified by regional or general expressions of the church.
Therefore, if membership in a local congregation extends unqualified membership to the regional or general church, we must make every effort to recognize and welcome all members. This resolution seeks to say a positive word of grace and welcome to those members who have, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, too often gone unrecognized and unwelcomed.
The world is changing rapidly, especially when it comes to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender sisters and brothers. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) needs to speak with clarity about our understanding of justice in the new reign God is unleashing.