Cumberland Presbyterian Youth and Young Adult Statement on Inclusion

June 28, 2021 Dear Members of the Committee on Theology and Social Concerns and Unification Task Force, First, I want to thank you for your dedication and attention to this matter. I know that many in our churches have pushed for a quick answer or a hurried response, and I am heartened and grateful for your deliberateness and careful consideration of each person’s voice. Attached to this note is the Cumberland Presbyterian Youth and Young Adult Statement on Inclusion. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Ministry Council or any other official body of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. It is also not meant to be representative of all youth or young adults in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Rather, it seeks to capture the voices of those who have not been previously heard--a contingency of people who yearn to see a full affirmation of all people in our church. As of June 28, 2021, 164 people have signed this statement. Of those who reported their age, 71% of the respondents were between the ages of 13-30. Among the 143 people who listed a presbytery, 15 different presbyteries were represented, including Andes and Medellin Presbyteries. As a representative of the signatories, I hope that you will prayerfully and earnestly consider our words. Our beliefs are based upon the teachings and scripture we learned in our CP churches, at church camp, and in youth group. We were taught by our leaders that each person is welcomed in church, loved by God, and called to serve God, including by serving as church leaders; we are now seeking to live out that teaching. Contrary to some characterizations of this view, our statement is drawn from Christ’s message of love and grounded in our reading of Scripture. While we may disagree, I ask that