As faithful witnesses, we highlight and affirm the following moral principles that arise from our understanding of Biblical truth. We acknowledge that other moral principles merit further attention.
Statement on Human Dignity and Equality (Distilled from UMC Book of Discipline Paragraph #161)
We believe that all persons, regardless of their station or circumstances in life, are of sacred worth and made in the image of God. Therefore, all persons should be treated with compassion, love, dignity, and respect.
We gladly welcome all who seek to grow in their relationship with God to attend worship services and participate in the church’s ministries. No person shall be disqualified from becoming a member of a local congregation, holding a leadership position in the church, or becoming an ordained or licensed clergy based on gender, race, color, nationality, national origin, or economic condition.
The Way Woodstock church specifically renounces all racial and ethnic discrimination and commits itself to work toward full racial and ethnic equality in the church and in society. In addition, Scripture teaches that men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. Accordingly, the church should treat women and men equally. We believe that both women and men are called to and gifted for ordained and licensed ministry, and both genders are able to hold leadership roles within The Way Woodstock church.
Sanctity of Life (Distilled from UMC Book of Discipline Paragraph #161-K and various others)
We believe that life is a holy gift of God whose beginnings and endings are set by God and that it is the duty of believers to protect those who may be powerless to protect themselves, including the unborn, those with disabilities or serious illness, and the aged.
Statement on Singleness, Marriage, and Human Sexuality (Distilled from UMC Book of Discipline Paragraph #161 C, E, G)
We believe that human sexuality is a gift of God that is to be affirmed as it is exercised within the legal and spiritual covenant of a loving and monogamous marriage between one man and one woman.
We uphold and honor the integrity of single persons and we reject all social practices that discriminate as well as social attitudes that are prejudicial against persons who are single.
We are saddened by all expressions of sexual behavior, including pornography, polygamy, and promiscuity, that do not recognize the sacred worth of each individual or that seek to exploit, abuse, objectify, or degrade others, or that represent less than God’s intentional design for His children. While affirming a scriptural view of sexuality and gender, we welcome all to experience the redemptive grace of Jesus and are committed to being a safe place of refuge, hospitality, and healing for any who may have experienced brokenness in their sexual lives.
Statement on Divorce and Remarriage (Distilled from UMC Book of Discipline Paragraph #161 D)
God’s plan is for lifelong, faithful marriage. Our first counsel when considering divorce is always to exhaust every avenue of reconciliation. However, when a married couple is estranged beyond reconciliation, even after thoughtful consideration and counsel, divorce is a regrettable alternative in the middle of brokenness. Divorce is always less than what God intended for marriage. However, it is not an unforgivable sin. Through the process of healing and restoration, people can be restored to community and to healthy and whole relationships that may include remarriage.
The Way Woodstock church discourages litigious action except when all other courses of action have been exhausted. The Bible clearly outlines a method for settling disputes insofar as both parties are willing to enter into Biblical resolution.
The Way Woodstock church encourages the approach outlined in Matthew 18:15-19: direct admonition, then admonition with another, then engaging the processes of the church to settle disputes.
We will sometimes have to address “Church Discipline” to maintain the order of our faith community.