In response to the recent disturbing actions by the Holston Home for Children, and the lack of clarity that they are no longer affiliated with the United Methodist Church, our Church Council unanimously approved the following resolution:
The Church Council of First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge,
Whereas the Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville, TN, has existed as a haven for children since 1895 by housing children experiencing homelessness, supporting persons seeking to adopt children both domestically and internationally, offering counseling through “adventure” activities, facilitating the training and certification for foster families, and providing group care for children;
Whereas we are guided by the document, The Social Principles, which was adopted by the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2004 and amended and readopted in 2012;
Whereas the United Methodist Church supports and encourages adoption by all persons who demonstrate the attitudes, behaviors, and assets of parental love; parental responsibility; encouragement of identity development of the child; physical, emotional, and economic security of the child; educational growth of the child; and socialization of the child;
Whereas we accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves, as affirmed in the vows of our United Methodist Baptismal Covenant, and view discrimination against people based solely upon religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or same-sex marriage status as evil;
Whereas the Holston United Methodist Home for Children has taken legal action against the United States Department of Health and Human Services to engage in discriminatory practices around adoption services for same-sex families; and
Whereas the Holston United Methodist Home for Children has allegedly denied adoption services to persons based on their religious practices; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Church Council of First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge,
- denounces the legal actions of the Holston United Methodist Home for Children against federal regulations to prohibit discrimination in programs funded by Department of Health and Human Services grants;
- denounces the rejection of adoption services to families based on their religious practices;
- calls on the Holston United Methodist Home for Children to end discriminatory practices in their foster, adoption, and counseling services; and
- calls on state and federal legislatures to pass legislation that protects all persons from discrimination based on their religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or same-sex marriage status.
Passed unanimously on January 25, 2022.
For reference, see: