There is a Church Council Meeting scheduled for Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. Family, Friends, and Allies will be bringing the following statement for approval as an official stance of our local church:
Aligning ourselves with the biblical witness, First United Methodist Church affirms Jesus’ example of inviting all people into God’s loving embrace. We believe that the diversity of our community enriches our journey together in faith. We welcome all people regardless of differences in the human condition including (but not limited to): race, sex, age, ethnicity, culture, marital status, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, educational level, and economic status. All people are welcome to join in our life together as we strive to live as a profoundly Christ-like church of open hearts, open minds, and open doors and work for the coming kingdom of God.
This action is not meant to be a controversial move in a new direction, but instead an explicit statement of something that has long been true in our church. Even non-LGBTQ-affirming members of our congregation have stated that they want to welcome all people, including LGBTQ folk, to First UMC. Furthermore this action in no way changes the denominational-wide stance of the UMC prohibiting LGBTQ ordination and marriage.* Please feel free to let me know what you think, but in the words of John Wesley, smite me gently.
*That’s regrettable in my opinion, but I’m aware that opinions vary.