A report from Western Plains District of the Church of the Brethren
The Western Plains Leadership Team, as part of our employment/appointment duties, discussed and adopted a Nondiscrimination Statement.
As followers of Christ, it has been an unwritten ideal that we strive to be non-discriminatory in our actions and speech, but like so many other organizations, we felt the time had come for the district to make a formal declaration of these ideals.
The statement is as follows:
Leadership Team Resolution Affirming Non-Discrimination Policy
Western Plains District Church of the Brethren
In keeping with the Church of the Brethren’s inclusive Christian tradition and its emphasis on the dignity and worth of all people, the Western Plains District Leadership Team affirms and embraces the honoring of diversity as a Christian ideal and mandate. Employment, membership, or participation in any district church hiring, appointment, or district activity shall be open to all without regard to ethnicity, race, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or creed.
Employment/appointment decisions shall be based on training, education, and experience related to the requirements of each position, including appropriate background checks. Western Plains District also encourages every congregation to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals who are differently abled.
At this same meeting, the district Leadership Team also adopted the guidelines sent out by the denominational Leadership Team on how to work with congregations who choose to leave the Church of the Brethren.
To be redirected to these documents on the Western Plains District website: www.westernplainschurchofthebrethren.org/transformation-vision-team.
In more news from the Western Plains District newsletter, as reported by Gail Erisman Valeta and Gary Flory for the Shalom Team:
The Western Plains District Shalom Team is facilitating a “Compassionate Listening / Compassionate Speaking” Pilot Project to address some of the ways that we have dealt with theological differences.
If there is one thing that we can learn from this recent election, it is that we are divided as a nation. We will likely stay stuck in this division if we cannot communicate with one another.
Does that need to also be true for Western Plains District?
The church can model another way of living by sharing how our faith has impacted our understanding of being faithful. We may decide that our care for one another surpasses our differences.
This pilot project gathers people via Zoom from diverse theological perspectives and geographic locations. This facilitated group of six people are invited to share how each person’s life experience has impacted their theological understanding of lesbian / gay / bisexual / transgender / queer or questioning (LGBTQ) persons.
The goal is to hear new insights that may not have been shared or heard before. The purpose of the pilot project then comes down to answering the question: How can we travel together knowing that we understand differently how to be Jesus’ disciples?