As a congregation that’s affirmed and celebrated the lives, loves, and gifts of LGBTQIA folks for over two decades, and has actively engaged in the struggle for LGBTQIA justice within the church and the world, the decision made by United Methodist General Conference in late February to maintain its discriminatory policies and practices against LGBTQIA people was a punch to the gut. Many of us are grieving and angry. To those who have been harmed by our denomination: we are deeply sorry. We see you, we love you, and we are here for you.
What the vote actually means is still unclear, as the adopted “Traditional Plan” awaits review by the Judicial Council of the UMC in late April. Regardless of how things unfold, who we are will not change:
We will continue to be a community of welcome and embrace that celebrates the lives and and loves of LGBTQIA people.
We will continue to be a community that practices full inclusion, affirming same sex desire and love as a part of God’s good creation.
We will continue to be a community that makes space for LGBTQIA people to discern and live out their divine callings.
We will continue to be a community that struggles for LGBTQIA justice within the church and the world.
And the good news is that we are not alone. A coalition of Sacred Resistance and Sacred Witness is forming across the globe, including our own conference, the NCCUMC, to resist the UMC’s discriminatory practices while also bearing witness to the good news of God’s loving embrace of all people. For more info, go here: https://www.facebook.com/sacredwitnessnc/.