Inclusion at Artisan Church

We believe that all people are born with the essential dignity and intrinsic value that comes from being made in God’s image and are equally capable of experiencing God, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We welcome and invite LGBTQ persons to participate at all levels of church life: partaking of the sacraments, serving in ministry, joining in membership, and holding leadership roles.

The fair treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church is a matter of justice—one of our foundational values—and we pledge to work to reconcile injustice against LGBTQ people in the greater church and outside it. Sexual orientation and gender identity must not be barriers to those seeking access to God’s love, grace, and growth in Christ’s church. As followers of Jesus, we are called to break down dividing walls and welcome all people.

Historical orthodoxy and denominational harmony

We affirm broad historical orthodoxy as outlined in the consensual creeds of Christianity. We embrace the Evangelical Covenant Church’s foundational ethos as expressed in Covenant Affirmations1, notably the affirmations of the centrality of the Word of God, freedom in Christ, and a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. We celebrate the ECC’s history of finding a third way in controversies about non-essential matters such as infant baptism2, just war theory3, and many others.

We humbly recognize that we hold a minority view on human sexuality within our denomination4. Artisan values and joyfully welcomes all LGBTQ persons, whether they are single, in relationship, or called to celibacy. In order to persist in fellowship and remain in good standing within the ECC, we are currently unable to officiate or host same-sex weddings5; however, we have partnerships with local pastors and churches who can, and we will provide references as requested. In this way, the Artisan community can celebrate with all couples as they begin their lives together.

Living in Christian unity

In 2015, with encouragement from the congregation and under the direction of the Leadership Team, Artisan Church began a series of conversations and listening circles on Gender, Sexuality, and Inclusion. After careful study of scripture, ongoing dialogue with our brothers and sisters, and a great deal of prayer and consideration, the community tasked the Leadership Team with composing a statement of inclusion to be ratified by the members for publication.

The Artisan community will continue this work of study, dialogue, and prayer. We exhort every believer to submit humbly to the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit in all areas of their life, and we will support and trust LGBTQ persons to discern God’s guidance in their own lives, whether that path includes celibacy or relationships.

We realize that not all Artisan members will come to the same conclusions about the Bible’s teaching on same-sex relationships and gender identity, and that people’s convictions may change over time. Yet we believe that our unity comes from our shared faith in Christ, not from absolute agreement about the interpretation of scripture. We believe that if we exhibit the radical love of Christ, our differences and diversity will enrich our life together, not divide us.

Adopted July 16, 2017