WE are called to be a welcoming community of loving servants of Jesus Christ.
The special session of General Conference ended last evening (2/26). The major contours of the Conference were:
The One -Church Plan which would have allowed churches and annual conferences freedom to make their own decisions around the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community failed.
The Traditionalist Plan, which maintains the current language of our Discipline and adds measures to strengthen accountability and penalties for disobedience to the Discipline around this issue passed.
However, as of 11:30 AM on the 26th, our Judicial Council had ruled most of those added measures “Unconstitutional” A few amendments were proposed by the Traditionalists during the day yesterday to try to remedy that, but at the close of session the entire Traditionalist Plan was referred back to the Judicial council for a ruling, which I believe will come when they meet next in April
So……as of 5 AM today (2/27), our denomination is in a bit of limbo in terms of the final disposition of the issue. Without a doubt, strong feelings have been raised on all sides–if you have followed the story in the press you have seen the word “split” and “schism” I truthfully do not know what is going to happen in our Conference or the larger church.
One thing I do know: our own ministry as a congregation must and will go on.
When I started typing this greeting I inadvertently had all caps on. I went back to correct the capitalized “we” at the top and then thought better of it.
At NUMC, we are truly WE. We do not all agree on this issue or on many issues, but the thing we have in common and that binds us together is our commitment to Christ. We all seek to walk in his ways and to witness to his power in the world. Over the years we have come together to worship, to learn, to serve, to reach out, to fellowship. We may be hurting or angry or confused but we are still brothers and sisters, and we are still called to be that welcoming community of loving servants of Jesus Christ.
And I will endeavor to keep everyone informed of all developments. In the meantime if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Grace and peace, Lori
Here is a link to the General Conference page for more information.