LITTLE ROCK, AR (June 13, 2018) – The mission of the Arkansas Conference of the UMC is to create vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples equipped to transform lives, communities and the world. As followers of Jesus Christ, we always want our beliefs and actions to help others grow closer to God and make God’s love, mercy, and justice real in the world. As United Methodists, we want to be welcoming to all people so they can know the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ.

Our Book of Discipline clearly states (¶161.G) our belief that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. Although the United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching, we do affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.

While we affirm the right of our pastors to share and speak from their faith and convictions, we do not and cannot condone any communication that does not align with these basic beliefs.

###