(This “Do No Harm” Covenant is a public document reflecting a public witness.)
Do No Harm Covenant
Iowa United Methodists
When asked which commandment in the law is the greatest, Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself”'(Matthew 22:37-39).
In his sermons “The New Birth” and “The Catholic Spirit,” John Wesley taught that as long as we hold in common the essential elements of our faith, and as long as we unite in love-then our hearts are right and we should walk together hand in hand. Wesley further taught that differences of opinion ought not to tear this union of hearts asunder.
The inability ofthe General Conference to pass a statement acknowledging longstanding disagreement on matters of human sexuality strikes at our union in affection, challenges our ability to live amicably in difference, and violates the sacred command to love our neighbors as ourselves. Further, the continuing denial of full access to all the rights and privileges of church membership in the United Methodist Church is causing deep spiritual harm to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer) sisters and brothers.
Therefore, in accordance with our membership vows to “resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves,’ and in obedience to the first of our General Rules, “Do no harm,” we, the following laity and clergy of the Iowa Annual Conference, covenant to obey the law of God.
When following the Book ofDiscipline requires us to do harm by discriminating against, diminishing, or demeaning our sisters and brothers in the family of faith, we are in an impossible situation and will be faithful to the law as interpreted by Jesus rather than comply with the Book of Discipline.
While we are deeply saddened that non-compliance with church law has become necessary, we live in hope that the day will not be long in coming when our church will remember its roots and once more be guided by grace, committed to justice, and led by love.
To sign on to the Do No Harm covenant, complete the form below and indicate whether you are clergy or lay. Your name will be posted as a signatory, but your contact information will remain confidential.