Will you support the church with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness?
That's the commitment we make when we formally become members of a local United Methodist congregation. At one time, that commitment extended to the entire denomination, but since few people identify as lifetime members of a denomination we don't ask that question anymore. Still, as Methodists it's important to remember we belong to a worldwide body of believers with a shared commitment to our particular Wesleyan tradition.
Since the United Methodist Church was formed in 1968, we have struggled with theological questions regarding to homosexuality, including issues like ordination for openly gay men and women called to ministry and the weddings of same-sex couples. Our Discipline constrains churches and pastors regarding these practices. Being the "big tent" church we are, there are highly passionate voices across the spectrum.
The General Conference is the one body authorized to speak on behalf of United Methodists everywhere. This group, comprised of 1000 delegates, half clergy and half laypeople, normally meets every four years; but a special Conference was called to deal with these issues of human sexuality. It will meet February 23-26. Now, we all have our own opinions, and we use our own understanding of a combination of scripture, reason, experience, and tradition to formulate what we believe.
During the General Conference, I'm asking Grace members to pray for a 30-minute time slot. I will create a devotional to guide your mediation if you would like to have one. After the General Conference, we'll set up some way of communicating any possible ramifications for Grace UMC. The first blue button is to find your time slot. The second blue button if for additional resources related to the General Conference.
Peace and Joy,