On Tuesday, July 16, as part of its biennial General Assembly, the Protestant mainline denomination, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) voted to "to affirm the faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," declaring "that neither is grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church." The resolution passed with over 75% of the vote.
Rev. Derek Penwell, pastor of Douglass Blvd. Christian Church in Louisville, was the resolution's primary author and DBCC served as the resolution's original sponsor. While this resolution does not speak directly either to the question of the same gender marriage or to standards for ordination, it attempts to say a positive word of grace and welcome to those people who, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, have historically felt unrecognized and unwelcome by the churc.h"
Rev. Penwell said, "We know that the church has harmed countless LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual, and Transgender) people in the past. Many churches continue to hurt today. This was a chance for Disciples to say publicly 'enough.' It was our chance to say that many Christians wnat to be a part of the solution of welcoming everyone, instead of the part of the problem."
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and part of an indigenous American religious movement that arose at the beginning of the 1800s, is today considered a Protestant mainline denomination with a historic concern for the pursuit of ecumenical unity, social justice, and freedom of Biblical interpretation.
For more information on the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), visit http://www.disciples.org.
Douglass Boulevard Christian Church, founded in 1846, has historically been committed to the pursuit of justice for all people, offering leadership in trying to live out the message of love and hospitality embodied by Jesus. In 2008, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church voted to become an Open and Affirming Community of Faith.
Douglass Boulevard Christian Church is located at 2005 Douglass Boulevard in the Highlands near Douglass Loop. For more information on the church, visit http://douglassblvdcc.com.
For more information on Rev. Derek Penwell, visit http://derekpenwell.net.