Press Release about Full Inclusion
Northeastern Jurisdiction Native American Ministries Committee
For Release: Immediate
Date: April 16, 2021
Contact: Suzanne Wenonah Duchesne
The United Methodist Church Northeastern Jurisdiction Native American Ministries Committee releases position paper on full inclusion of LGBTQIAS2+ persons.
April 12, 2021, the Executive Committee unanimously approved the full position paper affirming full inclusion of LGBTQIA2S+ persons.
This paper comes on the heels of the NEJNAMC February 2021 special meeting when they released their full inclusion statement. After two years of research and conversations, RoBear Wilson Chaiperson Western PA CONAM and Dr. Ellesa High, chairperson of the WV CONAM and NEJNAMC secretary, researched, wrote, and presented the larger position paper. The paper was further refined by RoBear, Dr High, and RagghiRain through listening circles with Reconciling Ministries Network, Love Inc. and those who identify as LGBTQIA, and particularly as “Two Spirit” persons.
As the statement makes clear “Adopting a position of full inclusion is a beginning; we call for the General Church to adopt and implement policies of full inclusion.”
In addition, the listening does not end with this paper but continues as members of the NEJNAMC continue to call the church to repentance, “Now The United Methodist Church members have the opportunity to confess the sin of colonialism. Authentic repentance only can be achieved by affirmation and full inclusion of all persons. This would support First Nations Peoples as they seek to heal from injustices caused by The United Methodist Church. It also would acknowledge their honored traditions of the God-given place of Two Spirit persons in their communities.”
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With God’s grace and guidance, the NORTHEASTERN JURISDICTION NATIVE AMERICAN MINISTRIES COMMITTEE will serve as the body that gathers to listen to and support fellow Native United Methodists, partners with all Native Peoples, educates non-Natives, and advocates for Native issues with our strong Native communities in the Northeastern Jurisdiction and beyond.