As many of you know, United Methodists met over the weekend in St. Louis to determine a way forward on the inclusion of sexual minorities within the global church. The traditional plan won the day, meaning that the Book of Discipline retains bans on same-sex weddings and LGBTQIA clergy for now. For those who are interested in reading more on what was decided, see this recap on what did and didn’t happen.
What does this mean for us? In practice, it means the Bruen Chapel should be involved in the best ministry and mission that it can muster up in the name and example of Jesus our savior. We should focus on the first part of that statement–ministry and mission. Loving God and neighbor always has to start right where we are–in our home church–before it can go anywhere else.
We as a congregation will continue to welcome anyone and everyone who comes to worship and walk with us on our spiritual journeys. This includes people of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identifications. Bruen Chapel extends its welcome to all the people. We believe that God, through Jesus, offered a powerful love that exceeds human understanding and overcomes all boundaries and categories that we create to divide ourselves.
In this time, let us be gentle toward one another and prayerful about how our denomination proceeds. The Judicial Council will be reviewing the constitutionality of aspects of what was passed in late April. (Update: See Bishop Lewis’s broadcast on the State of the Church: Where Do We Go from Here? from Monday, March 4th starting at minute 16)
At Communion on Sunday, we will pray again the prayer of confession acknowledging that we have not loved God with our whole heart, have failed to be an obedient church, have not done God’s will, and we have not loved our neighbors (paraphrased). For many, these words have new resonance this week. But let us earnestly seek the forgiveness and the freedom of joyful obedience through Jesus Christ our Lord.