WHEREAS, we have seen, once again, the violence directed at individuals of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, questioning (LGTBQ ) community with 50 children of God losing their lives this past weekend and dozens of others injured; and
WHEREAS, our Cabinet has reminded us that silence is not an option; and
WHEREAS, our baptism vows call us to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves; and
WHEREAS, our local churches are called to be safe places with no shame and no judgement;
THEREFORE, as the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church seeks to follow a Biblical mandate of hospitality to the stranger and edification of the least, the lost and the hurting; and in order to prevent suicide, sexual assault, trafficking, and to end homelessness of LGBTQ youth who grow and mature into adults who continue to experience this pain;
BE IT RESOLVED, that the following resolution is adopted by the Florida Annual Conference:
We vow that, as churches and people of faith, we will not be silent about the values of each and every life. We urge our churches, Committees, Campus Ministries and Camping Retreat Ministries to create safe space for each and every child of God.
Further, in the spirit of advocating for safe sanctuary, we call upon every United Methodist to respond to acts of hate, harassment and acts of violence filled with long-held prejudices against all persons, with acts of compassion and liberation.
We call upon the Church and society to intentionally support, advocate on the behalf, and minister to all at risk individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011