Despite the passage of the deeply unjust and painful Traditionalist Plan, we remain committed to justice, inclusion, and the full love of Christ for LGBTQIA+ people in The United Methodist Church. This has been the charge of reconciliation since the language, so harmful to so many lives, was added labeling a part of God’s good creation as “incompatible with Christian teaching” in 1972.
The Traditionalist Plan was passed by the efforts of organized opponents to gospel inclusion who have funded and promoted the demise of Christian witness across denominations who have dared to call out a white nationalist strain of Christianity. For decades, they sought the decline of biblical justice-rooted Christian traditions and have built the infrastructure and narrative that has now risen to power in The United Methodist Church. What has transpired today is an effort to weaken the Church and the local church, its global witness and reach, and the work of the Holy Spirit…
It is a leaner morning to which we awaken. We have before us a slew of legislation characterized by chaos and hostility, not by Christian virtue. Yesterday’s session seemed to set us back in the pursuit of justice for God’s LGBTQ beloveds.
And yet the Spirit still moved. In an act of solidarity, LGBTQ United Methodists and their allies on the floor cleared the way for the Simple Plan to be considered and debated before the committee. We heard the impassioned, varied, and beautiful voices of our siblings warning against unholy harm and exclusion, claiming their beloved-ness, and beseeching the body for another chance to be the Church. The Spirit swept through the floor and the stands to bring LGBTQ advocates to stand in support of their siblings and each other. The Spirit led its children in song. The atmosphere changed.
Let us be clear. The Traditional Plan will wreak havoc on the Church in the US and across Central Conferences. The ONLY goal of those pushing the Traditional Plan + exit is to break The UMC. It will have a devastating impact on our work around the world and will end The UMC in the US.
Le plan traditionnel fera des ravages dans l’église aux États-Unis et dans les conférences centrales. Le seul objectif de ceux qui défendent le plan traditionnel et la sortie est de casser l'Église Méthodiste Unie. Cela aura un impact dévastateur sur notre travail dans le monde entier et mettra fin à 'Église Méthodiste Unie en Amérique.
Today, justice seems a little farther from where we hoped it would be. Again, God’s beloved LGBTQ children have been recast as concerns about unity, stability, and theology. Yesterday’s legislative actions seemed to convey that the lives of LGBTQ United Methodists were of lesser concern than financial concerns, and that some delegates would rather seek the dissolution of the Church than remain in connection. In the face of such hostility, where the Spirit has not been invited to move, how do we continue to work for justice?
Who Are We?
We are United Methodists committed to the embodiment of God's love and justice within and through the people and mission of The United Methodist Church ...to assure The United Methodist Church is fully open to the presence, love and grace of God offered to all people.
Our values are grounded in our Wesleyan theology: grace, dignity, relationships, justice, and solidarity. All plans under consideration fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) We grieve systems of oppression, including the harm that the church is doing to LGBTQ+ people in our congregations and communities. The imperfections of the plans leave us with important questions from our values:
What expresses God’s grace and move us on toward perfection?
What brings dignity to God’s beloved people currently living in oppression?
What helps us respond to Christ’s call to be in relationship to transform the world?
Can we work with the plans on the table to seek justice for all of God’s children?
How do we stand side-by-side to resist colonialism and support each other?