February 25, 2024

To our beloved partners in Christ in Del Cristo Presbytery,

The staff and session of Grace Fellowship Community Church in San Francisco write to share our concerns with you over the proposed amendments to our Constitution. While we whole-heartedly affirm the letter from the former Moderators of the General Assembly from August 31, 2023, we wish to add our own thoughts to the conversation.

Our life together bears witness to the Good News that Jesus brings. Jesus’ prayer in the upper room was that His church would be one. While we practice life together in this unity, we find ourselves with differences in our understanding of sexuality and gender.

Grace Fellowship lives on the far reaches of our presbytery. This is where God has placed us. This is how God is shaping us. In our own congregation, we find diversity in ways that include race, age, gender, socio-economics, and theology. But, out of obedience and humility before Jesus, we are learning to treasure the unity of the Gospel, and the joy of having connection and relationship with the larger body in which God has placed us.

We are working to explore how to reconcile our diversity. We start with listening in humility, and then engage with one another. We have read the passionate letters from our faithful Cumberland pastors and leaders on either side of the issues at hand. In the presence of such a difference of opinion and beliefs, we want to keep doors open, not shut them. The process and practice of how we engage may be as important as any conclusion we arrive at someday. We live by grace, and we extend that grace. For it is by grace we have been saved, through faith… it is a gift of God.

We urge patience as we listen to God together. We urge that patience also as we listen to each other, allowing us to practice unity and grant dignity while we discern. We demonstrate to the world unity deeper than agreement. This issue is too important to rush, and too divisive to believe that a vote will solve the matter. Our hope is that our congregation and presbytery are given time to wrestle together with these questions, and that wrestling be characterized by fellowship and partnership. Our voting “No” will give us this time, and will affirm our desire that the church of Christ be one.

Grace and Peace to you all,
The staff and session of Grace Fellowship Community Church

Al Tizon, Senior Pastor
Paul Conti, Minister of Congregational Care
Session: Shane Chao, Margie Chiang, Irene Fong, Michael Peterson, Albert Jew, Kim Towsley


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