Working at Hospitality
Hospitality and Covenant Statement Context
This Hospitality and Covenant statement was formed out of a particular context and addresses particular concerns. In 2011, Valleyview engaged a process around the possibility of intentionally and publicly welcoming members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transsexual community. The community expressed diverse convictions. Towards the end of 2011, outside of the official process, a conversation was begun by two Valleyview individuals with opposing views seeking a peaceful resolution. Their discussion revolved around both the differences and the commonalities in their beliefs. When a statement of welcome was worked out and agreed upon, each invited two more individuals to the discussion, until there were six. Many hours were spent in listening to one another and learning to understand and respect the deep-seated convictions of each one. Because there was no intent to change anyone’s viewpoint, rather a wish to have a statement of welcome that all six could embrace, the group crafted a hospitality statement and a covenant statement. The hospitality statement was meant to be as open as possible within the convictions of all present, while the covenant statement expresses an intention to acknowledge differences within the congregation and a desire to work together in love. Acknowledging that God is our ultimate Host, and claiming the Spirit’s presence in the process, council affirmed these statements and they were endorsed by the congregation in May, 2013.
Valleyview Mennonite Church seeks to be a hospitable, generous and caring community of faith centered in Jesus Christ and comprised of believers of diverse backgrounds, traditions and viewpoints. We are united by a strong belief in our Anabaptist peace position and in our commitment to live out Christ’s admonition to love and care for one another in our families, our church, neighbourhood and around the world.
We believe in the sanctity of all human life, created in the image of God, who invites all into full participation in the community of faith. We acknowledge the diversity of human sexuality and believe in the need for respectful dialogue while working for justice for all, compromising when discretion is required for sensitive issues.
We welcome all persons who share our common goals to join us on our journey of faith and in our commitment to discern how to do justice without discrimination, as together we walk humbly before our God.
We welcome the participation of all who desire to promote Valleyview Mennonite Church’s vision statement regardless of their position or practice concerning sexual orientation, to work together at discerning how to do justice and bring peace to the world. As members and participants at Valleyview we agree to respect the right of each other to hold to our individual views concerning sexual orientation. We encourage each other, if and when we feel comfortable, to ask those with differing perspectives, the basis of their beliefs and to share our own perspective when asked. Thus we desire to grow together.
We recognize the need for all members to be affirmed and reassured for their gifts and work in the church. As a Christian community we pledge to support each other as we work together on the various visions and dreams emerging from the beliefs at the core of our faith. With God’s help we shall strive to build a community where justice, peace and unity of spirit prevail. Recognizing the frailty of our words to convey the intentions of our hearts, we pray that the Holy Spirit will breathe life into them.