At General Conference, we were invited to vote on a new Statement of Faith for the denomination. It was a very moving experience to pray it together for the first time, and to be part of committing to something new for the denomination. For me, the line that resonated the most strongly was this,
“We affirm Your charge to all of humanity to care for the land, sea, and air. Therefore, we will actively resist systems and structures which are destroying Your creation.”
(Click 'read more' below to view the full statement of faith.)
That call to action alone was very powerful, but as the week went on and we were gathering for worship amidst news of shootings in Minnesota, Texas, and Louisiana, it became very clear that a church that holds care for creation within its statement of faith must also be prepared to talk about the systems that oppress the people who share in the glory of that creation. In worship, we affirmed the Black Lives Matter movement, and honoured the unarmed people shot by police in the US, and we grieved the trans women who have been killed for being themselves, and committed to Say Her Name. We have all felt the pain of loss and shared that pain with one another in a very powerful way.
I am particularly grateful to the people who were present who have been directly affected by racism who shared their experiences with us, and challenged us as a church to examine our attitudes. As individuals, as a local church, and as a global fellowship we have always been called to look to where there is injustice and seek to bring justice. Now we are called to self-examination. Leaving Conference, I felt a really deep need to think about what might be at work in our movement that still keeps people from the love of God. What are my unspoken or unrecognised biases?
As an inclusive church we are all called to share the love of God with anyone who crosses our path. What could you do to resist systems that oppress and harm other children of God? It won’t be easy, but God’s grace sustains us as we work towards the new realm. Do not be afraid, God will be with you.
MCC Statement of Faith
Passed at General Conference, July 2016
Metropolitan Community Churches is one chapter in the story of the Church, the Body of Christ. We are people on a journey, learning to live into our spirituality, while affirming our bodies, our genders, our sexualities. We don't all believe exactly the same things. And yet in the midst of our diversity, we build community, grounded in God's radically inclusive love for all people. We are part of an ongoing conversation on matters of belief and faith, shaped by scripture and the historic creeds, building on those who have come before us. Our chapter begins when God says to us: "Come, taste, and see."
"Come, taste, and see." Jesus Christ, You invite all people to Your open table. You make us Your people, a beloved community. You restore the joy of our relationship with God, even in the midst of loneliness, despair, and degradation. We are each unique and we all belong, a priesthood of all believers. Baptized and filled with Your Holy Spirit, You empower us to be Your healing presence in a hurting world.
We expect to see Your reign on earth as it is in heaven as we work toward a world where everyone has enough, wars cease, and all creation lives in harmony. We affirm Your charge to all of humanity to care for the land, sea, and air. Therefore, we will actively resist systems and structures which are destroying Your creation.
With all of creation we worship You-every tribe, every language, every people, every nation. We know You by many names, Triune God, beyond comprehension, revealed to us in Jesus Christ, who invites us to the feast.