CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- A controversial discussion is taking place at Willow Avenue Mennonite Church, but members say the answer for them is clear.
"For us, this is not a political statement. This is a faith action. By faith, we believe Jesus welcomes all and so do we," said Lynn Jost, Moderator of Willow Avenue Mennonite Church.
The problem: affirming members of the LGBTQ+ community does not fall in line with church doctrine.
As a result, Willow Avenue has been suspended by the Mennonite Brethren Church.
"We're coming to understand Jesus is calling us to love without discrimination. Actually our denomination believes the same thing, the question is how to work it out these days," said Jost.
The Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches did not want to speak with Action News on camera, but a spokesperson said the group hopes to come to an agreement with the church.
Jost hopes for the same, but said his local church leaders are convinced Jesus would accept LGBTQ+ people in his church.
"We respect both the university and our denomination because they're following a tradition that also seeks to be faithful to the words Jesus," said Jost.
Amid the suspension, the church has welcomed a gay pride youth group -- Birds for Pride -- made up mostly of students from Fresno Pacific University.
"We were just trying to provide a safe space for students and ultimately make sure students have resources," said Justin St. George, Founder & President of Birds for Pride.
Fresno Pacific is also affiliated with the Mennonites.
Earlier this year, the school's board of trustees voted to not allow the club to meet on campus.
But leaders of local Christian churches have welcomed the club.
"We had over 12 churches from the Central Valley community here represented to show people that there are Christian leaders in the community that love and support our LGBTQ+ youth," said St. George.