Introduction

In 2004, West Richmond Friends Meeting adopted a new mission statement, which says: "As a Christian Quaker fellowship, we seek to discover God’s truth, proclaim God’s love, and live our faith." Then, in 2006, we adopted a series of goals, one of which is, "To create a vibrant community that attracts, welcomes, accepts and affirms."

 

As a part of this goal, the committee on Ministry and Membership was charged to work on "a meeting-wide engagement on the issue of sexual orientation." Ministry and Membership studied this issue for more than a year, and sponsored a series of small group discussions where people from our meeting could share their thoughts and feelings on this issue. The following minute was approved by our Monthly Meeting for Business in June 2008 and amended in November 2014:

Welcoming and affirming

We welcome all who come as religious seekers or as fellow Christians to share in worship with West Richmond Friends Meeting, to participate in the activities of our common life together, and to apply for membership. The same standards and expectations for membership will be applied to all persons.

We affirm and welcome all persons whatever their race, religious affiliation, age, socio-economic status, nationality, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation or mental/physical ability. We offer all individuals and families, with or without children, our spiritual and practical support.

In an effort to be clear as to the meaning of "affirming" and "welcoming," we offer the following examples. Members and attenders of West Richmond Friends Meeting are welcomed and encouraged to:

  • attend and participate fully in meetings for worship

  • take an active part in the life and activities of our meeting

  • contribute their time, talents, spiritual gifts and resources to God through our meeting

  • apply for and serve in positions of paid, public ministry or other positions of leadership in our meeting

  • test and shape their personal beliefs and daily practices and help others to do the same

  • invest themselves in our common efforts to improve and heal the world

  • help our meeting to discern God’s will in our meetings for business

  • we regard same sex couples who are in committed relationships as families

We are willing to engage in open discussion on these issues with others, and we respect the Christian beliefs and spiritual integrity of those who may not fully agree with us.

Same-sex marriage

In February 2016 West Richmond Friends approved the following at our Monthly Meeting for Business:

West Richmond Friends Meeting will consider requests for marriage under the care of the Meeting by couples of any sexual orientation or gender identity, who are free to marry.

Discovering God's Truth, Proclaiming God's Love, Living Our Faith
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