Pace's Statement on Inclusivity
As the season of Lent approaches and with it a period of solemn preparation and contemplation, those of us at the Pace Center felt it was important to be clear with our community where we stand. As both members and allies of the queer community, we want to explicitly affirm our acceptance of all people within the VCU community, particularly the LGBTQ+ community.
At the Pace Center we have always strived to be an open and affirming community for people of all cultures and backgrounds. However, we admit that we have not done our best to make explicit some of our beliefs. Most importantly, it is our fundamental belief that God's grace and love is available to all and we affirm that all people are valued children of God with no exceptions.
The Pace Center is the United Methodist Church's ministry here at VCU. As some of you may be aware, the United Methodist Church has been wrestling with the acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals for decades and that topic has become increasingly controversial in recent years. You may have even seen the recent headlines that the church tightened its ban on gay clergy and same-sex marriages.
We want to make clear that at the Pace Center, we fundamentally reject these policies and yearn for the day when LGBTQ+ people are accepted without question into the church. No matter what you may have heard, we will accept you with open arms at the Pace Center.
So, if you or anybody you know has ever felt rejected by the church, but you still feel the yearning for a spiritual home, we invite you to attend one of our events during the Lenten season.
Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law. (Romans 13:8,10)
(Names will be added once a day)
Justin Bresson, Student, Pace Student Org President, Board Member
Jacquie Ninkundiye, Student, Pace Student Org Vice President
Elizabeth Roderick, Student, Pace Student Org Treasurer, Board Member
Rev. Katie B. Gooch, Pace Center Director/Campus Minister
Jean Linnell, VCU Alum, Pace Center Operations and Facilities Manager
Michael Woods, VCU Alum
John Kneebone, Richmond Community Member
Kelley Lane, Student
Greta Zimbauer, Student
Daniel Webster, Student
Katie Centofanti, Student
Rev. Matt Bates, Board Member
Darcy Mays, VCU Faculty/Staff, Board Member
Jaime Wood, VCU Faculty/Staff
T’Angelic Ellis, Student