Statement of Inclusivity
Mount Olivet United Methodist Church is committed to loving God and loving neighbor with our whole selves – heart, mind, soul, and strength. We believe that all persons are of sacred worth and dignity as part of God’s creation, as demonstrated by the ministry of Jesus Christ. We therefore welcome all persons into the life and ministry of our congregation regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or socioeconomic status, education, politics, physical or mental ability or health, or faith history.
In 2014, Mount Olivet entered into a period of reflection and discernment on how Mount Olivet could live out their vision statement as a congregation in relation to our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters.
There were three motivating factors which prompted this time and process of discernment:
- As citizens of this country, we see attitudes towards the LGBT community changing with signs of greater acceptance/tolerance (i.e., civil recognition of gay marriage, workplace discrimination protections, etc.)
- As Christians, we try to reconcile the scriptural writings and traditional beliefs with Christ’s message of love for all and discerning how this reconciliation process impacts our message to the LGBT community.
- As part of the Methodist denomination, we have witnessed the varied responses to LGBT issues, notably same-sex unions, at all levels of the global United Methodist Church — from the local congregations up through the General Conference.
With these factors in mind, the Church Council elected to support a period of time for reflection and discernment on how the Mount Olivet community can respond, react and live out our vision statement in relation to our LGBT brothers and sisters.
LGBTQ Voices of Faith
In the fall of 2014, Mount Olivet approved a statement, (shown above) welcoming all people into participation in the life of Mount Olivet. Last fall, Mount Olivet hosted a 5-week series inviting LGBTQ people to share their experiences within the church and why they believe inclusivity matters. We heard some amazing, and heart-wrenching, stories that impacted us greatly.
We are committed to continuing this conversation. Check back soon for information on future events.
Screening of “An Act of Love” Documentary
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Mount Olivet and Fairlington UMC co-hosted a screening of “An Act of Love” here at Mount Olivet. “An Act of Love” is an award-winning, inspiring documentary which tells the stories of the Rev. Frank Shaefer and other United Methodist pastors who have fought for LGBTQ inclusion in the United Methodist Church. Rev. Shaefer had his ministerial credentials revoked in December 2013 after officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. Schaefer’s story is presented in the context of the larger debate in the UMC over same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy. Following the viewing of the 90-minute film, there was a short Q&A session followed by a light reception