The United Methodist Church has a longstanding tradition of working with and supporting The Boy Scouts of America, and the Churches in the Desert Southwest Conference are no exception. We have DSCUMC churches that support and sponsor troops in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Our support for the Boy Scouts of America continues as we celebrate with joy the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to include ALL boys. We do not underestimate the profound systemic impact that will be felt in the lives of trans people and their allies because of this policy change.
We stand with Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh and join with the Boy Scouts of America in embracing the opportunity to bring scouting to more families and children who can benefit from what scouting has to offer.
Rev. Stephen Govett
Chair, Welcoming and Reconciling Sub-Committee of Church and Society for the Desert Southwest Conference.
Book of Discipline support for this statement.
¶ 4. Article IV. Inclusiveness of the Church
The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ. The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth.
Social Principles: The Social Community
The rights and privileges a society bestows upon or withholds from those who comprise it indicate the relative esteem in which that society holds particular persons and groups of persons. We affirm all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God. We therefore work toward societies in which each person’s value is recognized, maintained, and strengthened. We support the basic rights of all persons to equal access to housing, education, communication, employment, medical care, legal redress for grievances, and physical protection. We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, status, economic condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation. Our respect for the inherent dignity of all persons leads us to call for the recognition, protection, and implementation of the principles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights so that communities and individuals may claim and enjoy their universal, indivisible, and inalienable rights.
Social Principles: The Nurturing Community
The community provides the potential for nurturing human beings into the fullness of their humanity. We believe we have a responsibility to innovate, sponsor, and evaluate new forms of community that will encourage development of the fullest potential in individuals. Primary for us is the gospel understanding that all persons are important—because they are human beings created by God and loved through and by Jesus Christ and not because they have merited significance. We therefore support social climates in which human communities are maintained and strengthened for the sake of all persons and their growth. We also encourage all individuals to be sensitive to others by using appropriate language when referring to all persons. Language of a derogatory nature (with regard to race, nationality, ethnic background, gender, sexuality, and physical differences) does not reflect value for one another and contradicts the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Culture and Identity
We believe that our primary identity is as children of God. With that identity comes societal and cultural constructions that have both positive and negative impacts on humanity and the Church. Cultural identity evolves through our history, traditions, and experiences. The Church seeks to fully embrace and nurture cultural formation and competency as a means to be fully one body, expressed in multiple ways. Each of us has multiple identities of equal value that intersect to form our complete self. We affirm that no identity or culture has more legitimacy than any other. We call the Church to challenge any hierarchy of cultures or identities. Through relationships within and among cultures we are called to and have the responsibility for learning from each other, showing mutual respect for our differences and similarities as we experience the diversity of perspectives and viewpoints.