On Saturday, June 18, 2016, the Desert Southwest Annual Conference passed the following resolution:
Resolution for Full Inclusivity as a Path to the Growth and Vitality of the Church
In an effort to live into our identity as a Reconciling Conference and in support of our Bishop’s commitment to lead our Conference to be open to all of God’s children, the Desert Southwest Annual Conference reaffirms our commitment to a fully inclusive church.
Acknowledging that our denomination’s Discipline discriminates against LGBTQ persons and is a barrier to not only LGBTQ persons, but to whole generations of young people and others for whom these prohibitions are untenable, we recognize that anything other than full inclusivity is betrayal of our Biblical call to love all and a clear obstacle to the growth and vitality of our church.
Affirming Bishop Hoshibata’s witness that this is an important time in the life of our denomination and his challenge that God is asking us to do something better than what we’ve been doing, we pledge as a Conference to not miss this opportunity to express God’s love, by “looking at the world with different lenses and with a pastoral heart, instead of a disciplinary book.”
Therefore, we pledge to go to that courageous place, being obedient not to a Discipline of words, but to our common discipline of love and grace. We will respond to Jesus’ call in our lives that compels us “to be bigger than we are and to lead our denomination into a future that welcomes all.”
Affirming our present diversity, we resolve to work toward and create a clear path to full inclusivity by developing and funding programs of cultural competency, anti-racism, anti- ageism, anti-sexism, anti-oppression and anti-homophobia/trans-phobia training at the conference and district levels, as well as for advocacy and implementation of full inclusion of all God’s children regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
To that end, the Desert Southwest Annual Conference also resolves to practice non- discrimination towards all LGBTQ persons, employees, and clergy — including not participating in or conducting judicial procedures related to the Discipline’s prohibitions against LGBTQ persons.