Joy Mennonite does not want the homosexual issue to become a divisive issue in the conference or in our church. Members of Joy are also concerned that this issue not consume all our attention or distract from other important issues. However, we also recognize that this is a justice issue and there are times when it should occupy our attention. Several years ago our church was faced with this issue in a way that has forced us to examine ourselves.
A seriously ill young man came to Joy. He said his sickness was a family related illness, and his family had severed all relationship with him. We soon realized we were the only friends he had. While we accepted him into our circle we were insensitive to the burden he was bearing: the burden of feeling that he had to conceal that he was gay. Just before he died he told us in the form of an apology about his sexual orientation and that he was struggling with AIDS. It was then that we realized the burden he was carrying all this time and our failure to embrace him as the person he truly was.
Therefore, as Joy Mennonite, we choose to follow the message of Christ when faced with all issues of life including those of human sexuality. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind… Love your neighbor as yourself.” The Bible teaches that “the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command.” We strive to serve, care for and above all love the hurting and marginalized people we encounter. Faith is a journey, and understanding comes one step at a time.