In the interest of clarifying the stance of the General Board on homosexuality, and to further interpret the Purdue 87 statement on sexuality, the following summary statements are commended to the church. It is our hope that area conferences and congregations will provide pastoral leadership in addressing this concern with fidelity to the scriptures and a spirit of love and openness toward one another.
2. We acknowledge and accept that some of our members have a homosexual orientation through no seeming choice on their part. We do not fully understand why or how this occurs.
3. We invite homosexual persons in our congregations to commitment to Jesus Christ and participate in the community of faith, abstaining from homosexual genital relationships and rejecting promiscuity and any form of immoral behavior.
4. We deplore the harsh and unloving attitudes often shown toward homosexual people in society-at-large and too often in the church.
5. We support the several ministries in our church for assisting homosexual persons who desire a change in sexual orientation and freedom from same sex practice and compulsions, and encourage members to avail themselves of these ministries.
6. We support the ministry of the Listening Committee for Homosexuality Concerns as a means of pastorally responding to homosexual people and their families, and to those with a range of concerns about homosexuality. (Since August 1992 there has been no Listening Committee.)
7. We acknowledge there are among us sincere differences of understanding of the Scriptures, the causes of homosexuality, and the appropriate ethical standards for such persons, and encourage a spirit of humility and openness to the Spirit of God on this issue.
8. We call on our area conferences and congregations to provide pastoral leadership in clarifying understandings and responding redemptively to homosexual people among us as a means of broadening the settings for discussion beyond the biennial General Assembly sessions.
9. We call on our congregations to express love and grace towards homosexual persons, to receive into their membership those who express genuine faith and abstain from homosexual genital relationships, and to express pastoral openness to the pain and struggle of homosexual persons and their families.
10. We encourage more attention to the broad range of human sexuality issues including heterosexual concerns and problems among us which may not receive attention due to fear and preoccupation with homosexuality.
"That the Mennonite Church General Board recommend the use of the 'Summary
Statements by General Board on Homosexuality' as a fair elaboration of
the Purdue 87 General Assembly statement and that the Summary Statements
be available to staff and board members as needed to clarify the current
position of the board."