The national headlines that will appear soon about the United Methodist Church may be disturbing or misleading. Hamilton got it right: “History is watching.”
This week (Feb. 23-26) nearly 1,000 United Methodist delegates from around the world will arrive in St. Louis. These elected delegates, 50% laity and 50% clergy, have been elected by their regional bodies. General Conference is the only group in the United Methodist Church that can change our book of governance, The United Methodist Book of Discipline.
Today it is not permissible for same sex unions to be performed by United Methodist clergy nor are openly gay individuals allowed to go through the ordination process.
The purpose of this global United Methodist gathering is to discern our path forward regarding our understanding of human sexuality. Several plans will be presented that invite change – some more inclusive and others more restrictive. It is likely that a decision may be reached; however, no decision is one possible outcome.
At Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church we stand on the shoulders of forefathers and foremothers who welcomed all and served their neighbors. We will continue to embrace everyone who comes through our doors with the love of Christ, a place that welcomes all. After St. Louis, we will work together to determine next steps as we seek to be faithful to God’s call to be The Church. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, please join me in prayer:
God of all Creation, Your divine image rests in each one of your daughters and sons. As difficult conversations on human sexuality unfold, give us courage to lean in and listen, to one another and to You. Remind us that in Christ we are one. Fill us with courage to fulfill our mission: To love You and all of our neighbors. May Your wisdom, peace, but especially Your love guide our steps as United Methodists. I pray in the name of Jesus, the Christ, whose love lifts all, Amen.
Pastor Cathy Johns