In 2017 at our National Convocation in Little Rock, members of The Fellowship passed a resolution which called upon the Fellowship Board to facilitate the writing of a Welcome Statement that would intentionally include all who need to hear that they are welcomed and valued at the table of Jesus Christ.
This was in response to the Convocation's theme: “Wake up! Worship. What's next?” which was inspired by the sixtieth anniversary of the attempt to integrate “The Little Rock Nine” into Central High School. A task force of diverse members was named to create an initial draft of this Welcome Statement.
The Board was also directed in the Little Rock resolution to engage in professionally-taught learning experiences that address cultural and systemic racism. During these experiences in 2018, the Board prayerfully worked to perfect the draft from the task force.
Believing that the time has come for making clear that The Fellowship is open to all, the Executive Board made final revisions and approved the Welcome Statement below on March 4, 2019.
In service to all, we present this statement as our best expression of the openness of Christ's table of grace as we wish to experience it as The Fellowship.
A Statement of Welcome
The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts is a community of diverse worship artists who are not of one mind on a wide range of theological and cultural issues. We acknowledge that we have been blessed by the gifts and presence of a variety of people. We covenant to uphold the sacred worth and dignity of all persons, without exception. We welcome all into membership and leadership in The Fellowship, including:
- persons with divergent theological and political convictions, even as we seek to emphasize our connectedness and unity in Christ;
- persons of all races, cultures, ethnicities, and socioeconomic conditions;
- persons at all places on the spectrum of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression;
- persons of various ages and life experiences, and persons who are differently abled.
Christ made no mistake in opening the table of grace to everyone. Therefore, our membership and its leaders commit to embrace one another with boundless compassion and affirmation so that the reign of God might be made known “on earth as it is in heaven.”