I just signed the “Halt all punishments related to LGBTQ people in The United Methodist Church” petition. The punishments include eliminating active LGBTQ clergy and preventing eligible LGBTQ candidates from joining the ministry. It also includes forbidding same-sex marriages in United Methodist Church sanctuaries and its clergy from performing such unions. On the Change.org page, I clicked the “Share with Facebook Friends.” Right above the button, the petition asked, “Why am I signing?” I typed in, “I’m signing because ‘separate but equal’ is over.”
The United Methodist Church is on the verge of splitting. During its recent international General Conference, which is held every four years, no agreement could be arrived at on LGBTQ+ issues, and the topic was tabled.
The Council of Bishops issued a report saying that a commission would be developed to examine this issue. The Bishops’ Report requested that punishment of LGBTQ persons must stop during the work of the commission “to help the church live in grace with one another.”
I am hopeful that the Book of Discipline will be adapted to allow for inclusions of all persons, regardless of their sexuality. To me, there is no other way to live in grace.
The commission’s purpose is: “to develop a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph in our Book of Discipline regarding human sexuality. We continue to hear from many people on the debate over sexuality that our current Discipline contains language which is contradictory, unnecessarily hurtful, and inadequate for the variety of local, regional and global contexts. We will name such a Commission to include persons from every region of our UMC, and will include representation from differing perspectives on the debate. We commit to maintain an on-going dialogue with this Commission as they do their work, including clear objectives and outcomes.”
The full Bishops’ Report can be found here: http://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/an-offering-for-a-way-forward-from-the-council-of-bishops/
Sign the petition here: