Heartland Clergy for Inclusion

acceptance from the heart

Press Conference Statement of Rev. Dr. David Ruhe

June 16, 2011

I am the Reverend Dr. David Ruhe. I am the Senior Minister of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa—a 154 year old congregation of more than 3,000 members. We are part of a denomination, the United Church of Christ, which has advocated for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the church since the 1970’s; and our denomination ordained the first openly gay man to the Christian ministry in 1972. My congregation has been formally Open and Affirming since 1993 and has been truly blessed by the gifts and graces brought to us by our LGBT brothers and sisters through their full participation in church life.

On behalf of clergy and congregations in Iowa and throughout the Heartland I am eager to affirm the Heartland Proclamation. While at Plymouth Church in Des Moines and in the United Church of Christ we have hardly been silent on this issue, we have not spoken in the public arena as regularly and forcefully as faith in a God of love and justice requires of us. To borrow words from the prophet Micah, we have perhaps been too busy “walking humbly with [our] God” to truly “do justice and love kindness.”

In a spirit both of repentance and of affirmation I support this statement of my brother and sister clergy from Nebraska.

Written by Scott Jones

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Welcome to the Heartland Clergy for Inclusion’s presentation of The Heartland Proclamation. Join us in an ongoing conversation about God’s unconditional love for all people and about advocation of justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.