Madison Affirmation

After a Soulforce Workshop in Madison, Wisconsin, I met with clergy from 18 different congregations who wanted to take a stand on behalf of God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered children.

I encouraged them to create an affirmation that they would sign and present to the community. It took time and effort. They met for several weeks shaping together "THE MADISON AFFIRMATION ON HOMOSEXUALITY AND CHRISTIAN FAITH." They even paid for a full page in their local paper to reprint the affirmation as a witness to their community. I want to thank the clergy of Madison for their courage and their commitment.

Consider gathering clergy in your area to create a similar affirmation. Why limit it to clergy? So many people of faith, laity and clergy alike, want to take a stand against their own denomination’s anti-homosexual policies. This gives them that opportunity.

For More Information about the Madison Affirmation which follows contact The Rev. Paul Kittlaus (Paul_Kittlaus.parti@ecunet.org)

ON HOMOSEXUALITY AND CHRISTIAN FAITH
A MADISON AFFIRMATION

"Jesus Christ calls us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. As Christian clergy we embrace gay and lesbian persons as our neighbors. From our reading of scripture and from our pastoral experiences, we believe there is sufficient evidence to conclude that homosexuality is neither sickness nor sin. For too long, homosexual persons have been condemned and mistreated by the followers of Jesus Christ. Sadly, the Bible has been misused in support of this condemnation. This abuse of scripture must end. Heterosexual and homosexual persons are children of God, created in God’s image. We invite Christians to prayerfully re-examine scripture and their consciences for any vestiges of hatred or prejudice against their homosexual brothers and sisters.

"We strongly uphold the family as the basic social unit in which we are called to live together and to give and receive nurture and support. We often find the term ‘family values’ applied to only some Christian families. Gay and lesbian persons live among us as our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces. We believe in the value of loving, committed families for all God’s children. We support families who provide love and affirmation for each of their members. We are saddened and concerned by the breakdown of the family that stems from various forms of infidelity, violence, and failure to maintain long-term commitments – among heterosexual and homosexual communities. We commit ourselves to the encouragement and bless of relationships that meet the test of fidelity and loving nurture.

"We believe it is time to eliminate all policies and practices which create barriers and restrictions to the full participation of gay and lesbian Christians in all of the privileges and responsibilities of church membership. Recognizing that our churches still speak and act out of our longstanding prejudices:

  • we hope and pray that we will acknowledge our sin and be forgive of our ignorance, fear, arrogance and self-righteousness;
  • we commit ourselves and encourage others to engage in the study of scripture and open dialogue with other disciplines to allow the Holy Spirit to teach new understanding;
  • we rejoice in the refusal of many gay and lesbian Christians to abandon or be forced out of their church homes;
  • we are moved by their gracious response to years of intolerance and inspired by their creative and courageous service to the gospel of Jesus Christ;
  • we consider these sisters and brothers to be a unique, holy, and precious gift to all of us who struggle to become the family of God.

"We hope and pray that those who have left our churches will in God’s time return to full and unqualified membership in the Christian community and by their presence help us to be renewed as the church of Jesus Christ."

THE FOLLOWING HAVE SIGNED "A MADISON AFFIRMATION: ON HOMOSEXUALITY AND CHRISTIAN FAITH"
(Congregations and/or denominations are listed for identification only)

American Baptist

  • The Rev. Authur E. Basile, First Baptist Church (American Baptist)
  • The Rev. Mark M. Clinger, First Baptist Church (American Baptist)
  • The Rev. Kent Mayfield, First Baptist Church (American Baptist), Serving First Unitarian Society as an administrator.

Episcopal

  • The Rev. John J. Fetterman, Grace Episcopal Church
  • The Rev. Nancy L. Idenden, Grace Episcopal Church
  • The Rev. Virginia Lund, St. Francis House-University Episcopal Center
  • The Rev. Deacon Susan R. Mueller, Grace Episcopal Church
  • The Rev. Patrick Raymond, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church In America

  • The Rev. Melissa J. Markquart, Faith Lutheran Church, Columbus
  • The Rev. Janice Mynchenberg, CLCA interim pastor
  • The Rev. Rodney D. Nordby, ELCA pastor
  • The Rev. Harvey S. Peters, Luther Memorial Church
  • The Rev. Mary M. Pharmer, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
  • The Rev. Andrew D. Rogness, Advent Lutheran Church
  • The Rev. Dennis N. Tollefson, Midvale Community Lutheran Church
  • The Rev. Robert T. Voss, Lake Edge Luteran Church
  • The Rev. Cynthia L. Wolf, Midvale Community Lutheran Church

Madison Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

  • Lorene Ludy, Madison Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Madison Church of Religious Science

  • The Rev. Linda Wise, Madison Church of Religious Science

Moravian Church in America

  • The Rev. Staci A. Marrese Wheeler, The Moravian Church in America

United Methodist Church

  • The Rev. Robert Milner Adams, United Methodist Church
  • The Rev. Joan Derning, UMC
  • The Rev. Kenneth Engelman, UMC (ret.)
  • The Rev. Cecil Findley, UMC
  • The Rev. John A. Kruse, UMC (ret.)
  • The Rev. David P. Lyons, UMC
  • The Rev Brian Rice McCarthy, UMC
  • The Rev. Dianne Reistroffer, UMC
  • The Rev. Dave Steffenson, UMC
  • The Rev. David R. Werner, Crossroads UMC, Waunakee

Presbyterian Church (USA)

  • The Rev. Joy Bailey, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Mary Jean Bartholomew, Presbyterian Church (USA) (ret.)
  • The Rev. E. Ellwood Carey, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. David C. Dornack, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Hugh Drennan, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Shirley R. Funk, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Lyn Green H.R., Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Calvin P. Harfst, Parkside Presbyterian Church
  • The Rev. David F. King, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Linda Kuhn, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Scott Marrese-Wheeler, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Marilyn Sandin-Ross, Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • The Rev. Diana Vezmar-Bailey, Presbyterian Church (USA) (exiled)
  • The Rev. Daniel S. Yeazel, Dale Heights Presbyterian Church
  • The Rev. Gervase J. Zanotti, Presbyterian Church (USA) (ret.)

United Church of Christ

  • The Rev. Carol B. Adams, Community of Hope-UCC
  • The Rev. Edwin E. Beers, First Congregational UCC, Madison
  • The Rev. William K. Conover, United Church of Christ
  • The Rev. Peter Fabian, UCC
  • The Rev. Aurelia "Ree" Hale, UCC
  • The Rev. John C. Helt, UCC
  • The Rev. Gail Irwin, Christ Congregational UCC, Clintonville
  • The Rev. Tim Kehl, UCC
  • The Rev. Paul L. Kittlaus, First Congregational UCC, Madison
  • The Rev. David J. Michael, UCC
  • The Rev. Robert Mutton, UCC, Southwest Association
  • The Rev. Don Niederfrank, St. Pauls’ UCC, Erin
  • The Rev. Matthew Noffke, First Congregational Church UCC, Hartland
  • The Rev. Doublas M. Pierce, Orchard Ridge UCC
  • The Rev. Shari Presternon, Peace UCC, Stevens Point
  • The Rev. Paul A. Quackenbush, McFarland UCC
  • The Rev. William Rishel, First Congregational UCC, Plymouth
  • The Rev. Karla Schmidt, Orchard Ridge UCC
  • The Rev. Diana S. Shaw, First Congregational UCC, Madison
  • The Rev. Mark Stahlut, Kettle Moraine Parish, Mukwonago
  • The Rev. Joanne Thomson, Middleton Community Church
  • The Rev. Dr. Frederick R. Trost, Pastor, UCC
  • The Rev. Bonnie B. VanOverbeke, UCC
  • The Rev. Stephen Welch, First Congregational UCC, Oconornowoc
  • The Rev. Charles W. Wolfe, Plymouth Congregational, UCC
  • The Rev. Mark E. Yurs, Salem UCC, Verona

Other clergy in support of the Madison Affirmation

Unitarian-Universalist

  • The Rev. Bonnie Jean Casey, First Unitarian Society
  • The Rev. Ruth E. Bison, First Unitarian Society
  • The Rev. Jonalu Johnstone, James Reeb Unitarian-Universalist Congregation
  • The Rev. Michael A. Schuler, First Unitarian Society

Reform Judaism

  • Rabbi Jan Brahms, Temple Beth El

Lay Professionals in support of the Madison Affirmation

  • Catherine Coy, St. Paul’s University Catholic Center
  • Jan Johnson, Lake Edge Lutheran Church
  • John K. Leonard, St. Raphael Cathedral
  • ellsworth snyder, First Unitarian Society
  • Maureen McDonnell, Roman Catholic
  • Stephen J. Bullock, Roman Catholic
  • George Hinger, Roman Catholic
  • Judith A. Schoenherr, St. Benedict Center
  • Fred Devett, St. Benedict Center
  • Dianne Wilbes, St. Benedict Center
  • Stuart Panish, St. Benedict Center
  • John Barkel, Catholic
  • Frieda Schowalter Barkel, St. Mark’s Lutheran
  • Bonnie L. Block, St. John’s Lutheran Church
  • Claire Wagner, OP, Sinsinawa Dominicans
  • Charles D. Pfeifer, Madison Urban Ministry

 

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