Some of you may have seen the United Methodist Church in the news recently. A group of bishops and other leaders put forward a plan for the United Methodist Church as a whole to separate into at least two denominations because of the longstanding disagreement over the issue of fully including LGBTQ people. Both the church’s history on this issue and the proposed plan, called the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, are complex. Click on the title to read the document. Some of what has been reported in national outlets is not entirely accurate. We will talk about this in greater detail over the coming days. For now, understand this:
First, to any child of God who has been harmed, cast out, or silenced by any faith community or individual claiming to represent Jesus Christ, know that First Church is a safe and welcoming place. You are loved just as you are, and there is a place for you here.
Second, the United Methodist Church has not split. The proposal is the beginning of a long process that will culminate in an official decision at the denomination’s General Conference in May. There will also be work to do after the conference depending on what the delegates decide.
Third, this doesn’t impact the day to day life of First Church at all at this point. We will keep loving God and loving our neighbors in every way that we can.
If anyone has questions, feel free to email, call, or text the church.