Church member Art Smith said, “It’s a journey we are all in together and we don’t necessarily all agree, but I think we want to include everybody in our faith journey.”
The USA National Conference of the Community of Christ Church, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which is a Mormon offshoot, has recommended “policy changes that would allow for the ordination of gay people and marriages or covenant commitment services of gay couples,” reports the Kansas City Star.
According to a member of the church’s communications and media relations team, the conference, which was held last weekend in Independence, Missouri:
Attracted about 2,000 people, including about 1,500 delegates … The delegates, by more than the required majority, recommended that the sacrament of marriage be extended to members of the same sex where legal in the United States. In areas where it’s not legal, the conference delegates recommended that the church recognize covenant commitment services for gay couples.
The conference delegates also recommended the church ordain people to the various offices of priesthood regardless of their sexual orientation and relationship. Offices of priesthood in the church are deacon, teacher, priest, elder, seventy and high priest.
Before the changes go into effect they will need to be approved by the leadership of the church, which consists of the First Presidency and the Council of Twelve Apostles. But the understanding appears to be that they will follow the recommendations of the National Conference. Any policy changes that are approved would apply only to the congregations in the US, and it may take up to a year for these changes to be put into place.