This week has been filled with much anxiety as a Special Called General Conference convened to discuss the report from the Commission on a Way Forward for the United Methodist Church. The commission’s report specifically outlined a way forward for the UMC regarding our ministry to all persons, and our relationship with our brothers and sisters in the LBGTQ community.
After strenuous debate, the General Conference voted to accept what is known as the Traditional Plan (Plan), along with about a half dozen amendments. The Plan reinforces the language currently in our Book of Discipline whereby UMC clergy are prohibited from performing same gender marriages and our Board of Ministries are not allowed to approve persons from the LBGTQ community for ordination as pastors in our church. The adopted Plan is now being reviewed by our Judicial Council for constitutionality, and we will have more specifics about it in the days ahead.
We wish to let all of our friends in the LGBTQ community, and those who are already a part of the St. Paul UMC family, know you are loved and welcomed here at this church. We also want you to know we believe the God who created you loves you, affirms your worth and gifts for ministry, and calls you to be in deeper relationship with your church family here at St. Paul UMC.
We understand we have brothers and sisters whose contextual interpretation of the Scriptures may differ from ours, but we embrace our unity in Jesus Christ, the One who is the author and perfector of our faith.
Our Discipline requires your pastors to uphold the restrictions placed upon us as clergy; however, we remain committed to ensuring St. Paul UMC is a church of acceptance, grace, love and peace for all God’s people.
The Reverend Bob Martin,
The Reverend Pam Dubov,