Response to open letterby Heidi Regier Kreider, pastor, and Ruth R. Harder, associate pastor, Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, Kan.
We are writing in response to the "Open Letter to Mennonite Church USA" that calls for the denomination to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We affirm the call for a church that, in the words of the letter, "offers Christ's radical hospitality and extravagant love to everyone." In this spirit, our congregation adopted a welcoming statement in 2002 that affirms hospitality in a variety of areas: "Bethel College Mennonite Church welcomes into fellowship and membership all persons who confess faith in Jesus Christ, without regard to their race, ethnic background, gender, age, sexual orientation, education, ability and other factors which give rise to discrimination and marginalization."
We recognize that letters or statements such as these can be interpreted in different ways and can result in unintended consequences and assumptions. For that reason, we welcome ongoing dialogue in the spirit of love as we seek to follow Jesus as a community of faith.
Associated Issue: Green shoots rising - April 7, 2009
Associated Article: Open letter calls for 'radical hospitality'
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- Sex offenders in the church
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