Inclusivity

We are making a concerted effort to extend God’s fully inclusive love and unconditional welcome

Inclusivity Statement

Mount Olivet United Methodist Church is committed to loving God and loving neighbor with our whole selves – heart, mind, soul, and strength. We believe that all persons are of sacred worth and dignity as part of God’s creation, as demonstrated by the ministry of Jesus Christ. We therefore welcome all persons into the life and ministry of our congregation regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or socioeconomic status, education, politics, physical or mental ability or health, or faith history.

Margarita's Story

"You cannot tell someone enough that they are welcome and loved."

History

Holy Conversations

In 2014, Mount Olivet entered into a period of reflection and discernment on how Mount Olivet could live out their vision statement as a congregation in relation to our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) brothers and sisters.

There were three motivating factors which prompted this time and process of discernment:

As citizens of this country, we see attitudes towards the LGBT community changing with signs of greater acceptance/tolerance (i.e., civil recognition of gay marriage, workplace discrimination protections, etc.)

As Christians, we try to reconcile the scriptural writings and traditional beliefs with Christ’s message of love for all and discerning how this reconciliation process impacts our message to the LGBT community.

As part of the Methodist denomination, we have witnessed the varied responses to LGBT issues, notably same-sex unions, at all levels of the global United Methodist Church — from the local congregations up through the General Conference.

With these factors in mind, the Church Council elected to support a period of time for reflection and discernment on how the Mount Olivet community can respond, react and live out our vision statement in relation to our LGBT brothers and sisters.

Voices of Faith

In the fall of 2014, Mount Olivet approved a statement welcoming all people into participation in the life of Mount Olivet:

Mount Olivet United Methodist Church is committed to loving God and loving neighbor with our whole selves – heart, mind, soul, and strength. We believe that all persons are of sacred worth and dignity as part of God’s creation, as demonstrated by the ministry of Jesus Christ. We therefore welcome all persons into the life and ministry of our congregation regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or socioeconomic status, education, politics, physical or mental ability or health, or faith history.

In 2016, Mount Olivet hosted a 5-week series inviting LGBTQ people to share their experiences within the church and why they believe inclusivity matters. We heard some amazing, and heart-wrenching, stories that impacted us greatly.

Becoming a Reconciling Congregation

On June 8, 2019, Mount Olivet's Church Council took deliberate, extended time to come to a consensus on whether Mount Olivet would become what is known as a ‘reconciling congregation.’

This was done after holding three town halls, hearing from the congregation through a survey and holding many conversations both in and outside the church walls.

The motion that was approved reads:

Be it resolved that the congregation of the Mount Olivet United Methodist Church, in support of our lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning brothers and sisters in Christ, adopt Recommendation #3 from the 2014 Final Report to the Church Council from the Holy Conversations Facilitation Group. The recommendation from the report is for “…the Mount Olivet community to begin the process to identify itself as a “Reconciling Congregation” and to take steps to become affiliated with the Reconciling Ministries Network.”

Why are we taking this action?

We are making a concerted effort to extend God’s fully inclusive love and unconditional welcome - inviting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) neighbors into a safe sanctuary in which they can worship, serve and find community.

So our current neighbors, new residents, and out of town guests can find us.

To build and strengthen relationships within our church families.

To be a relevant, vibrant and effective family of active faith, especially in Arlington and its surrounding areas.

To improve momentum in the local and national Reconciling movement.

To take up the Ministry of Reconciliation.

To live out our Wesleyan heritage of evangelism.

To live out our global mission statement to "make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

To fulfill our baptismal covenant by accepting the freedom and power that God gives "to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”

To live as disciples of Christ who calls us to be light in the darkness and neighbor to all, most especially to those unjustly pushed to the margins.

Statements & Media

Commission on A Way Forward's Report to the General Conference, 2019
A Letter from Pastors Re: Special General Conference, 2019
Town Hall Video Re: Becoming a Reconciling Congregation, 2019