FGC Good News Bulletin, November 2004
One hundred and fifty Friends attended the 4-day annual sessions of FGC’s Central Committee last week. Every one of our fourteen affiliated yearly meetings, from Alaska to Florida, plus three non-affiliated but “unprogrammed” yearly meetings—Pacific, North Pacific, and Iowa Conservative—were well represented.
There was a tremendous energy in the sessions. Acknowledging that it has no authority to speak on behalf of its affiliated meetings, Central Committee saw its way clear to approve a powerful minute on our experience with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Friends:
Our experience has been that spiritual gifts are not distributed with regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
Our experience has been that our Gatherings and Central Committee work have been immeasurably enriched over the years by the full participation and Spirit-guided leadership of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer Friends. We will never go back to silencing those voices or suppressing those gifts. Our experience confirms that we are all equal before God, as God made us, and we feel blessed to be engaged in the work of FGC together.
We also felt the weight of making important financial decisions that will be required as we implement the new Long Term Plan for 2004-2009. Moving forward with this work will involve new initiatives and expansion of existing programs that will require both more money and additional staff support. Consideration of this complex issue was deep and Spirit-led, and we eventually reached a place of true unity on how to proceed.
Three days after the sessions, one Friend wrote about her experience as follows:
"Though it was exhausting and painful at times, and confusing!, it was so full of the power of God’s love in our community that I returned home deeply, deeply grateful. That is what makes community: the challenge, the wrestling, the Love that grows and persists through it all."