Recommendations Approved by the Oct. 2019 Special Session
GNJ Annual Conference accepted the 10 calls to GNJ leadership in the GNJ Way Forward Report as follows:
- Continue to resource congregational leaders to make disciples and grow vital congregations to transform the world.
- Shepherd all congregations into the future recognizing our diversity of culture, ethnicity and belief.
- Create sacred space for congregations to thrive in their context.
- Seek to eliminate harm to the people in our communities and congregations.
- Care for youth in our congregations and in our communities, who face discrimination, hatred and harm because of their sexuality and gender identity. Death by suicide is significantly higher among LGBTQ youth than among their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. The Team calls all congregations to be sensitive and alert to the needs of youth in our congregations and community and to use the resources for LGBTQ youth found at gnjumc.org/protecting-children-and-youth/end-harm-to-youth.
- Make available trained facilitators to assist interested congregations with conversations about ministry with LGBTQ persons and to develop covenants about ministry with the LGBTQ community as well as other missional commitments that empower contextual ministries of justice, mercy and peace.
- Honor congregational covenants, particularly the cabinet when making appointments and working with congregations.
- Engage someone to coordinate and resource the covenanting process for congregations.
- Make training and coaching available, particularly in congregations where there are differences concerning human sexuality, so that each person can see that others matter just like they do.
- Provide a web page for congregations to communicate that they are a welcoming congregation who affirms the full inclusion of LGBTQ people so that people from the community, especially LGBTQ people, can locate a congregation to worship with and participate in ministry.
GNJ Annual Conference affirmed:
- Bishop Schol’s prayerful declaration that he will not forward for trial any charges arising out of the ministry of LGBTQ+ clergy or any clergyperson’s ministry with the LGBTQ+ community.
- The principled decision of the Board of Ordained Ministry to disregard sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis for recommending candidates for ministry, and
- The Spirit-led witness of local churches and clergy who will create covenants for ministry with the LGBTQ+ community, while recognizing the courageous leadership of churches and pastors who have been engaged in this ministry for years.