Approved by the 205th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, June 12, 2004.
WHEREAS, the Bible is filled with invitations, calls and commands “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with God”. (Micah 6:8) Jesus reminds us that God commands us “to love our neighbors as ourselves” (Luke 10:27) and to create a just and loving society for all of God’s beloved. Everyone is welcome at the table Jesus sets;
WHEREAS, the Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (MACUCC) in 1984 passed a resolution calling on local churches to:
- adopt a statement of openness [to] and affirmation of gay, lesbian and bisexual oriented people who seek to live Christian lives
- "initiate immediately an education process..."
- "adopt non-discrimination employment policy..."
and called on the MACUCC to "provide and promote educational resources" for local churches. This advocacy and public witness continues today as the members of MACUCC churches and Conference organizations celebrate God’s inclusive love for all of God’s people, specifically recognizing the gifts of gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexual people for full participation in the life and leadership of the church; and
WHEREAS, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in 1985 called on local churches institutional settings of the church to welcome lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual people and continues to support the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexual people in the life of the church and continues to make an important component our national interfaith and ecumenical polity, calling on people from all faith traditions to welcome and include gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people into full participation in their faith communities; and
WHEREAS, the United Church of Christ in Massachusetts in its many expressions for 200 years has advocated for the for the poor and oppressed despite the cultural norms of the times; and
WHEREAS, giving gays and lesbians the right to legally marry is an important step in guaranteeing full civil rights to all citizens of the commonwealth, (Massachusetts Supreme Court Goodridge Decision, 11/03).
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that 205th Annual Meeting of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ affirms our commitment to be an Open and Affirming Conference in the United Church of Christ and calls upon local churches, associations, and the commissions of the Conference to join together to celebrate and affirm the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Courts affirming the right of same-gender couples to legally marry in the commonwealth.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that recognizing that we have a diversity of perspectives within our congregations, the 205th Annual Meeting calls upon all local churches, associations and commissions of the Conference to promote honest discussion, prayer contemplation, and biblical study within our Conference. We also call upon these bodies to take as much action as possible to affirm and welcome same-gender couples who seek to have marriage ceremonies in our churches, and to encourage them to live out their discipleship as married persons under the law.