Mennonite Church Welcome Committee Records
Span Dates: 1998-2000
Volume: .5 linear foot
This collection includes organizational records from the Welcome Committee, originally an ad hoc committee of the Mennonite Church to reflect on the church's attitude toward homosexuality in the Mennonite Church. The materials include responses to an open letter, published booklets, correspondence and order records.
The Welcome Committee was born during an informal meeting of parents and friends early in 1998. During the first phase of its existence, it was an ad hoc group designed to increase dialogue in the Mennonite community about LGBTQ inclusion. Original members included Titus Bender (Ft. Defiance, VA), Doug Brunk (Philadelphia, PA), Lois Kenagy (Albany, OR), Ruth Conrad Liechty (Goshen, IN), and John Stoner (Akron, PA).
The stated purpose for the committee was:
To assist the Mennonite Church to reflect on her attitudes towards our gay brothers and lesbian sisters.
To encourage the church to consider the ENTIRE statements adopted at Saskatoon (1986) and Purdue (1987), but not to elevate them or any portion thereof above scripture.
To provide and highlight resources that will encourage further discernment through study, dialogue, prayer, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
To enable the stories and voices of our lesbian sisters and gay brothers to be heard.
To advocate on behalf of our lesbian sisters and gay brothers.
In 2000, the committee drafted and published a “Welcoming Open Letter on Homosexuality” in the Mennonite World Review, which included the signatures of almost 1,000 people across the North American Mennonite community. In the following years, it also published a booklet series called “Welcome to Dialogue” as a resource for Mennonite congregations.
An online finding aid is available.
Menonnite Church USA Archives
3145 Benham Ave.
Elkhart, Indiana United States
Mennonite Church USA | Activist (religious institutions)