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A way forward.

The Methodist movement has often been ahead of the game in looking out for persons who are marginalized by society: laborers, children, slaves, women, blacks and more. The church has never had an “anti-homosexual” position. Since the 1980’s, however, there has been the language that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” It made sense, therefore, to prohibit the ordination of homosexuals and performing same sex marriages. We have been arguing about it ever since. Well meaning, educated, and faithful people disagree sharply about what Jesus would do.

In February 2019 there will be a special called General Conference for the purpose of selecting “a way forward” for the denomination. THAT is really all we know.

We don’t know:

1.   If they will remove prohibitions against ordination of homosexuals and same sex marriage allowing for decisions of conscience.

2.   If they will leave the prohibitions in place.

3.   If they will create multiple branches of the denomination to accommodate everyone.

4.   If they will fail to act at all.

5.   If the denomination will be able to maintain its unity.

6.   What affect it will have on local churches.

There is no way to know.

I believe at this point we are so deeply divided that none of the options are likely to satisfy a majority of people or congregations.

What do we know?

1.   We cannot control what happens at the General Conference.

2.   No matter how the General Conference turns out God is still God.

3.   There is still important kingdom work to be done here. Nothing should distract us from that.

4.   Every United Methodist needs to be informed.

5.   I will be happy to discuss any of this with any of you individually and will provide opportunities for our congregation to gently share ideas, understand one another, and pray together.

This is neither the first, nor the last time the church will have deeply divided opinions about something. Be in prayer with me as this process unfolds.

Pastor Terry

 


SERMON SUMMARIES

August 5- GENEROSITY might sound dangerous because we wonder, "What if there is not enough?" Let the church be a community that knows God's abundance and generously shares the abundance with others.

August 12- FAITHFULNESS - We hear so many voices in our lives. The church is the community that invites all people to faith in Jesus Christ.

August 19- Down To Earth -When Jesus came down to earth, He left a perfect home in heaven, where he sat at the right hand of God. He left all of that for us, even though we’d reject him. His love for us is greater than we’ll ever appreciate. (Clay Winterboer & Jason Bush)

August 26- SELF CONTROL- In a culture in which individual rights, personal preferences, and in which everything is ok as long as it doesn't infringe on my rights. Let the church be a community that teaches the discipline of discipleship and the practice of prayer.