A New Zealand Quaker meeting’s statement of affirmation and reconciliation about the inclusiveness of sexualities

I found this New Zealand Quaker meeting statement of Affirmation and Reconciliation about the inclusiveness of sexualities, especially gays and lesbians from the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance website religioustolerance.org:

New Zealand: The Quaker meeting in Aotearoa is called “Te Hahi Tuhauwiri.” This was the name gifted to them by the Maori Language Commission in 1994. It means “The people who are moved by the winds of the Spirit.” In 1999, they published their Statement of Affirmation and Reconciliation about the inclusiveness of sexualities, especially gays and lesbians. It had been adopted in 1995. Portions read:

“The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Aotearoa New Zealand commits itself to be a community of reconciliation, responding to the love of God in equality of participation and service, and recognizing the gifts of God in one another. A cornerstone of Quaker belief is ‘that of God’ in everyone which makes each person precious, and of value to God, to the planet, and to her or his community.

Each individual’s journey through life is unique. Some will make this journey alone, others in loving relationships – maybe in marriage or other forms of commitment. We need to ponder our own choices and try to understand the choices of others. Love has many shapes and colors and is not finite. It can not be measured or defined in terms of sexual orientation.

We are now called:

  • to welcome publicly and explicitly the participation and service of lesbian and gay Friends;
  • to help one another develop loving and equal adult relationships and friendships;
  • to explore ways in which we can, through worship and cherishing, mark the joys and sorrows of one another’s relationships and life circumstances;
  • to seek formal ways of recognizing a variety of commitments, including gay and lesbian partnerships.

We realize in making this present affirmation we oblige ourselves to face and deal with our own homophobia and unconscious prejudices, together with society’s limitations and denials of human rights and justice. We acknowledge that as individuals we are as fallible as anyone else. When put to the test, we may each fall short.”

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