The MC and GC merged to become the Mennonite Church USA (a.k.a. MC USA) in the year 2000.
1999: The Mennonite General Assembly met in St. Louis. They did not "reaffirm the faith statement that sexual relations are reserved for a man and a woman in marriage."
2000-JAN-21: Lancaster Conference's Bishops issued a "Statement of Faith and Call to Prayer." It said, in part:
"We believe with the Purdue statement 2 that homosexual, extramarital and premarital sexual activity are all sin is based on the scripture and should be the teaching position of the church...We do not believe that all persons with homosexual desire will experience a miraculous change of orientation if they come to Christ."
However, they do believe that Christ will give persons the support needed to remain celibate outside of opposite-sex marriage. They asked the church's leaders to bring a resolution before the next Delegate Assembly to affirm these same principles.
The confirmed their belief that all forms of:
"... homosexual behavior is sinful and that God does not condone sin. ... We believe that the new united denomination will need to make its teaching position clear on these issues. We believe that we cannot be faithful to our understanding of Scripture that homosexual behavior is sin and join with a church body which does not support these commitments. 3
2001: The "Membership Guidelines for the Formation of Mennonite Church USA" was written. Its Section III deals with a "Clarification of some issues related to homosexuality and membership." It mentions that same-sex orientation and "lifestyle" 4 have been a focus of controversy. Several congregations who had belonged to two conferences were expelled by one conference because they accepted as members some individuals in loving committed same-sex relationships. The united Mennonite Church USA will follow:
2003-SEP: At this time, Canada was going through
a period of rapid change concerning same-sex marriage (SSM). Almost 45% of
Canadian adults favored SSM. SSMs became available in Ontario and British
Columbia. The United Church of Canada endorsed SSM at their general
council meeting. A bill in Parliament to define marriage as a union of one man
and one woman failed. Bill C-250 was passed; it added sexual orientation to the
existing list of four protected classes in Canada's hate propaganda legislation.
"These statements name same-sex relationships and other sexual activity outside of consensual relations in a heterosexual monogamous marriage as outside of God’s plan and will. They also declare a covenant 'to mutually bear the burden of remaining in loving dialogue with each other,' 'to take part in the ongoing search for discernment and for openness to each other,' and a commitment 'that we call for and acknowledge the integrity of the same commitment [of faithfulness to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, according to the light that God has given us in the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit] on the part of those who disagree with us'."
Still, it is difficult to search for discernment and remain open to each other if one set of believers have just expelled the other set from church membership because they are in a loving, committed same-sex relationship, civil union or marriage.
2008-NOV: A group of Mennonites called the Welcome Committee prepared an open letter calling on the church to revisit their official stance on homosexuality. By the time of the MC USA convention in 2009-JUL, about 1,400 Mennonites had signed the letter. It asked that area conferences not suspend or expel churches that accept as members GLBT persons who are in loving, committed same-sex relationships. Supporters of the Open Letter Campaign sponsored a resolution to a church committee on JUL-02. It was not voted upon. The executive board of the Mennonite Church USA released a statement on the same day saying that "God intends marriage to be a covenant between one man and one woman for life." The statement also said the church should "... be firm in our commitment to seek a mutual solution." 6
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