February 27, 2012
Dear Friends attending the World Conference of Friends 2012,
We send you love and support from Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns (FLGBTQC). FLGBTQC is a faith community within the Religious Society of Friends in North America that affirms that of God in all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We share Friends' conviction that there is that of God within each person and uplift the focus of the World Conference of Friends on truth telling, education, and doing God's work.
Within Friends for LGBTQ Concerns, we are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to Quaker testimony. We are called to share what we have come to know experientially: that we are all children of God, that loving same sex relationships come from the same divine source as heterosexual relationships, and that gifts of ministry are distributed without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. We stand in a place of solidarity both with Friends everywhere and with our brothers and sisters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender, and queer. We are called to speak out against discrimination or persecution on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation wherever it may occur.
We will hold you in prayer as you engage in God's work of speaking your truth and listening for the truth in the words spoken by others.
We hear of meetings and churches that do not embrace the gifts of Friends' sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation. Our experience is that the diversity among the members of our body enriches and strengthens our community. In this gathering, we celebrate attendance of Friends of all branches of North American Quakerism, many Friends under the age of 50, Friends of varying family structures, and Friends of diverse ethnic backgrounds. As we express ourselves authentically and we accept the challenge of loving one another unconditionally, we manifest the testimony of integrity and are liberated to live and love in the Light.
We hold in the Light all those who suffer from oppression and those who consciously or not contribute to their suffering. We wish to be allies to sexual minority African Friends whose nations have laws against homosexuality.
Kody Hersh and Wendy Sanford, co-clerks
Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns