The United Methodist Church is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation opportunity. A life-threatening harm has been named within the body and brought to light. How we respond will define our future. There are responses that will promote healing, restore relationships, restore our ubuntu, and lead to this struggle being remembered as a restorative struggle. And there are other responses that will amplify the pain. It is time to banish this period of legislated discrimination to the dustbins of our history. Therefore, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition calls upon the Commission on a Way Forward and the Council of Bishops to develop a plan that maintains the UM connection and removes all forms of language that discriminates against LGBTQ+ persons from the Book of Discipline. We call upon the delegates to the 2019 special session of General Conference to act to maintain the UM connection and remove all forms of language that discriminates against LGBTQ+ persons from the Book of Discipline. Furthermore, we call upon all United Methodists to join together in love, grace, and compassion, to recognize “us” reflected in each other, and to work to strengthen our relationships and our United Methodist connection and restore our ubuntu, regardless of where we stand on the theological or political spectrums. Finally, as we look beyond the 2019 General Conference, we call on those who become delegates to the 2020 General Conference and upon all United Methodists to careful examination of other ways in which we harm our ubuntu, other ways in which we perpetuate new and historic injustices against one another and our planet, and to join together to work toward our continuing restoration and sanctification in those regards as well.
The General Commission on Delays and Procrastination (GCODAP) arrived Saturday morning in Portland with very little fanfare.
“We were told there would be folks in green vests at the airport, but there were only hipsters,” said Martin ‘Tardy Marty’ Smith, general secretary. “That should have been our first clue.”
Crystal balls and fermentation equipment were the next clues. When the GCODAP contingent arrived at the Oregon Convention Center, they found themselves attending not General Conference 2016, but Portland’s 14th annual “Home Brewing for Fortune Tellers” event...
Who would have known? I went to Tampa, Florida in 2012 as a first-time General Conference clergy delegate with one mindset on the issue of human sexuality... and came back home with another.
Prior to the General Conference, I heard stories of the LGBTQI people - a DS with wife and children who killed himself because he couldn’t live with the conflict between his sexual identity and the church’s expectation, teenagers who couldn’t take it any more in a society where they were ostracized, shunned, and attacked and who killed themselves, and more. I thought, “If it leads to a life and death situation, it is serious.”
There came an eye-opening moment at the General Conference...
We’re grateful to the Council of Bishops for making a recommendation to the body. While many of us believe that this should have happened decades ago, we know that it took guts to do it yesterday. “Business-as-usual” isn’t working. We’re glad for an alternative. And we are especially grateful for the recommendation to defer voting on discriminatory legislation.
Our two major concerns are...
Find our corrected/amended voting guide here.
In the century before Jesus was crucified, the general Crassus defeated a great slave rebellion. As he entered Rome, the road was lined with 6000 slaves hanging on crosses. The message of that moment was clear: FEAR. Fear the consequences if you break the rules and the chains of your bondage.
Fear is a familiar companion to LGBTQI people who are called by God into ministry in our denomination. Fear of rejection, fear of being outed, fear of losing income and health insurance for their families. The 150+ crosses lining the walk into the Convention Center this morning challenge us all to remember the fear that our church imposes on LGBTQI people everyday. Each cross contains a stole from the Shower of Stoles project and represents LGBTQI people called to ordained ministry, and barred from ministerial service or asked to contribute to a church that asked them to be silent about their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as, those who have ministered to LGBTQI at great cost...
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.