Equal Invitation and Challenge For All

After completing a public time of study/discussion in 2019 on marriage/sexuality, Vintage  formally adopted an “Equal Worth, Equal Opportunity, Equal Expectation” paradigm. At Vintage, this simply means:

  • We acknowledge the dignity and worth of all human beings, all of whom equally bear the image of the God who created and loves them
  • We open the full life of the church to anyone who wants to participate with us in lives of Christian discipleship (attending, volunteering, giving, taking communion, being baptized, becoming a member, serving in leadership/staff roles, and getting married), encourage our pastoral staff to openly, respectfully, and lovingly share their inclusive/affirming perspective on this subject, and release them to perform pastoral responsibilities accordingly
  • We hold all followers of Jesus to the same level of expectation re: Christian discipleship, without special/extra requirements for any person/group
    (e.g. lifelong celibacy may be voluntarily chosen by the individual, but is never considered mandatory.

This doesn’t mean everyone at Vintage thinks the same way on this subject (we recognize the diversity of thought that exists on the topic); what it does mean, though, is that the reservations of those who hold a “side B” perspective are no longer determinative for the church as a whole.

The Result of a Process

In 2019, after a three year time of personal study and prayer, our Lead Pastor shared a detailed report with our Steering Team re: how he had changed his mind on the subject of human sexuality and marriage. Following this discussion, the Steering Team as a whole entered into a similar time of study and prayer, eventually welcoming the Trustee Team, and all church members and attenders into the process, culminating in a public six week study and discussion on the subject. Finally, In 2020 – after a lengthy church-wide process of study and open discussion – Vintage leadership officially announced a shift in our perspective and practices when it comes to folks in the LGBTQ+ community. Prior to that date, anyone who wanted to be a follower of Jesus was welcome to attend, serve as a volunteer, receive the eucharist, be baptized, and become a member; what was unclear, at that time, was if LGBTQ+ individuals could serve in leadership roles, if same-sex couples could get married at Vintage, and if there were specific expectations for the Lead Pastor’s perspective and practices along these lines. As detailed above, Vintage is grateful to have reached a place where we can say, “It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” in this regard, and to have arrived at clarity for our local church family on those questions.

Hear the Story for Yourself

In 2021 Deacon Godsey was interviewed by Matthew Vines at the Reconcile and Reform conference, This video tells the story of Deacon's process, and Vintage's ultimate shift on this subject.