The following Journey Description is a living document that will continue to be shaped by our community as we continue on this journey together. [Last updated: 1/18/23]
Similar to Vox’s Values, it is not part of our culture to craft statements top down and vote on it. Rather, we lived life together for 10 years and then put into words our journey to articulate God’s work and our hopes. In this sense the words are still a living document and can be shaped. Our LGBTQ Journey Description captures our story around these conversations over 5 years and we’d like the community to continue to shape it. This is not a fixed vision or aspiration, rather a description of ourselves and our journey together, born out of our listening circles.
One of our values at Vox is Empathy within diversity. This means modeling Christ’s life of standing with those who have been historically marginalized by society and religious institutions. In this way, we enter into what is made possible by God’s Spirit: the rich benefits of a body of Christ, with many diverse members, committed to one another in love.
Therefore, we at Vox are committed to the following practices regarding conversations about gender and sexual diversity:
- 1) We welcome and affirm LGBTQ persons and families to participate at all levels of community, partaking in sacraments (including marriage), serving in ministry, joining as members, and holding leadership roles as you are called.
- 2) We strive to embody a theology of a nonviolent God and will actively work toward protecting marginalized individuals and groups from intentional and unintentional harm.
- 3) We practice spiritual discernment and empathetic conversations together.
- 4) We welcome diversity of theological views and scripture interpretations, and do not strive for agreement or certainty.
- 5) We use tools of listening, empathy, and nonviolent communication to refrain from trying to change anyone’s mind on matters of discussion; rather, we practice listening, learning, and discerning God’s spirit together.
Since 2015, Vox Covenant Members have been in the process of learning about gender and sexual diversity through engaging the scriptures and listening to God, our LGBTQ members, ourselves, and each other. We encourage those in the Vox community to practice empathy and posture of humility when it comes to matters of diversity. While we celebrate difference of thought and theology, we do expect a common, shared agreement in our practices of empathy and nonviolence and how we treat one another and will not tolerate practices that further marginalize. We value mystery over certainty, and practice deferring to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all areas of our lives, and we will support and trust LGBTQ persons and families to discern God’s guidance in their own lives.
Click here for a working doc of this Journey Description that captures our previous versions.