Policy Positions

Westminster members connect with state and local partners, consult denominational resources, and collaborate with one another to develop informed and faithful responses to the pressing issues of our time.

This page provides links to policy position statements developed by Westminster task forces and study groups and adopted by Westminster’s Session, the governing body of the church. Email the Faith in Action Council to learn more and get connected with other Westminster members involved in any of these areas.

Hope for the World

A congregation-wide dialogue resulted in a statement of Westminster’s shared vision of a world that is just, loving, joyful, sustainable, and peaceful, and a commitment to working together to bring that vision to fruition.  Grounded in Scripture and in the congregation’s understanding of God’s love, this statement inspires and informs our worship, shapes education and programming, and directs our mission giving and action.

Matthew 25 Congregation

As a “Matthew 25 congregation” in the Presbyterian Church USA, Westminster “recognizes Christ’s urgent call to be a church of action, where God’s love, justice and mercy shine forth and are contagious.”  Supported by the education and advocacy resources of the national denomination, Matthew 25 congregations build congregational vitality by working to dismantle structural racism and eradicate systemic poverty.

Reducing Mass Incarceration

An extensive study supported by public policy research, community listening sessions, Biblical study, and denominational resources led Westminster’s Session to adopt a statement supporting a wide array of policy changes that would reduce mass incarceration and remedy its effects, particularly for African Americans and other people of color who are disproportionately affected by inequities in our criminal justice system.  The statement addresses a wide range of issues, including sentencing reform; enhanced funding for public defenders, treatment courts, and social services for incarcerated individuals; and supportive services for post-incarcerated individuals and their families.

Marriage Equality

Supported by a review of Scripture, theology, social science, and the polity of the Presbyterian Church (USA), this policy position adopted by Westminster’s Session in 2012 calls for civil laws and policies that fully support marriage equality for all couples who wish to marry, and for denominational policies that would permit clergy to officiate at same-gender marriages in states where such marriages are legal.

Affordable Housing

Adopted by Westminster’s Session in 2006, this document provides the Biblical rationale for Christians to advocate for housing access; provides research findings on the severe and growing shortage of affordable housing and ongoing inequities in accessing it; identifies the social, economic, and policy barriers to housing access; and outlines specific policy changes that Westminster supports in order to improve access to affordable housing and create more inclusive communities. Westminster continues its commitment to investing in and advocating for affordable housing through its membership in Align Minneapolis, a coalition of downtown congregations working to end homelessness, and its endorsement of Homes for All, a statewide coalition of nonprofits, service providers, affordable housing developers, faith groups, and government agencies that successfully advances policy initiatives promoting housing stability for all Minnesotans.

Gun Violence

This statement provides a historical overview of positions and actions taken by Westminster Presbyterian Church in response to gun violence, including the declaration of the church as a gun-free zone. Westminster’s policy position on gun violence and gun control is consistent with the 2015 position paper on Gun Violence and Public Safety published by the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, and with the gun violence resources available for download from the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in the Presbyterian Church USA.

Contact

Rev. Alanna Simone Tyler
Associate Pastor for Justice and Mission

Mahin Hamilton
Administrative Assistant

© Westminster Presbyterian Church | 2020