We are Still Grace and We are Still Inclusive for ALL
Tomorrow begins the official enforcement of the Modified Traditional Plan that was passed by the special General Conference of The United Methodist Church in February. This plan places unjust mandatory penalties on pastors that officiate weddings for loving, same-gender, couples, and continues a shameful history of discrimination against LGBTQIA persons. In the United Methodist Church, our Book of Discipline has shamed and cast aside our LGBTQIA kin since 1972 and this lack of grace, compassion, and love is incompatible with Christian teaching.
On the eve of 2020, I reaffirm our commitment at Grace to be a church for all of God’s children. As a reconciling congregation, we are committed to treating all people with equal love and respect. While we are a part of The United Methodist Church and are thankful for our denominational history and traditions, especially our understanding of grace and commitment to personal piety and social holiness, Grace will not be defined by discrimination.
At Grace, our commitment to marriage equality and our welcoming statement will be just as true in 2020 as it is today:
God’s love is for all and God’s grace is present in all creation. God’s spirit draws us into community. We are filled with genuine care and love for one another.
Honoring the diversity of our faith journeys, our welcome is extended to all – people of all races, sexes, ethnic backgrounds, generations, physical and mental abilities, economic conditions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. No matter who you are, no matter where you are in your life, you are welcome here.
We are all invited to bless this church with our love, our presence, and our participation.
Grace United Methodist Church Board of Church & Society Response to 2019 Special General Conference
In February, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to support the “Traditional Plan”, which bans ordination of openly gay clergy and performance of same-sex wedding ceremonies. It also institutes penalties for those in violation of the plan. This decision is not only hurtful to many individuals and families; it is also incompatible with Christian teachings of love and inclusion. Grace has rejected this harmful message as a reconciling congregation, and is committed to treating all people with equal love and respect.
In response to the vote, Jessica Maffitt, a member of the Church and Society committee, felt the need to publicly show Grace’s support for the LGBTQ community. Through the encouragement of the Church and Society Committee and approval by the Administrative Board, the signs were placed in front of Grace this Spring. Displaying the signs is a visible reaction to acknowledge that Grace does not align with the General Conference’s decision.
The signs have elicited a positive response from members of Grace and the community. The Church and Society committee continues to identify opportunities to show support for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.