Friends in Christ,
Grace and Peace to you through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church is standing up to speak, responding to the vote of General Conference delegates in late February. Delegates from around the globe came to St. Louis to determine our way forward as United Methodists. Their vote, with a margin of only 54, tightened the ban on gay clergy and same sex unions.
While some felt relief or perhaps joy, we grieve the decision. It does not reflect the heart or values of Hyde Park Community. We have been, and will always be, a place that welcomes all. This means that regardless of your theological or biblical perspective, you are welcome here. Regardless of how you identify yourself as a human being, you are welcome here. We cherish each person as a beloved child of God and celebrate the diversity and mutual respect that thrives in our faith community. At Hyde Park Community we strive to live by John Wesley’s “three simple rules”: “Do no Harm, Do Good, and Stay in Love with God.” Sadly, The United Methodist Church has failed.
The Servant Leadership Board of Hyde Park Community, at their March 11 meeting approved the following:
• Suspend payment of (place in escrow) our General Church Apportionments.
• The Senior Pastors will write a pastoral letter to the congregation.
• Develop a newspaper, social media, and banner campaign that reflects the inclusiveness of the Hyde Park Community, focusing on our diversity in unity.
• Participate in national conversations with respect to the state of our denomination and options moving forward. Our pastors plan to attend a fall gathering with Rev. Adam Hamilton at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. It will focus on shaping a new future for United Methodists who long to share the love of Christ with genuine love and respect for all people, focusing on our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Our website has resources posted for you to access, detailing our observations and opinions regarding the vote of General Conference: www.hydeparkchurch.org. Finally, we thank you for your prayers and support. The road ahead of us will bring challenges, but every challenge is an opportunity. We are confident that God will provide the wisdom, strength, and courage for the days ahead. We are deeply thankful that you are on this journey with us.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Cathy and Pastor Doug