Yikes—Are We Really Going to Talk About That?!
Grace and peace to my fellow Christians of PTCUMC. May the God of glory bless you and keep you as we emerge from this pandemic, and bless our church with a season of new life as we step back into the church building and out onto the mission field.
It is wonderful to see so many people at church on Sunday mornings; gathering with Sunday school classes and small groups; enjoying great food, music, and fellowship at First Friday…and it is wonderful to see their whole face! Thanks be to God for our church family.
While our church is well, others are struggling, and I ask you to lift them up in prayer. And please keep our church in your prayers as well, because we may struggle too unless we are diligent about keeping Christ’s new commandment, “that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” John 13:34-35 NRSV.
Discussions on the issue of human sexuality are just plain difficult for most of us—not something Mother would have approved of for dinnertime conversation. That said, it is an important issue the United Methodist Church is addressing, and has been for about 50 years. Each of us needs the facts before we enter into this conversation—facts on timelines, on positions, and what might impact our PTCUMC family. Too often in our world today we get rumors, innuendo, and opinions dressed up as “facts” or “news.”
Your Leadership Board began addressing this issue as a group at the June meeting—and we started by laying the groundwork with some facts. We would like to share with these with you–just a few of the many we will ultimately tackle, but it’s a start:
1) No final decisions have been made regarding the subject of human sexuality, nor will they be made until the next General Conference.
2) The next General Conference has been rescheduled from 2020 to fall of 2022, subject to travel ability of delegates from around the world.
3) The UMC Book of Discipline remains the same regarding the stance on human sexuality.
4) There is nothing we (PTCUMC) are required to vote on at this time.
5) We will keep the congregation informed as the conversation continues. We are in the process of developing mechanisms to do that.
I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to follow Jesus’ new commandment in every interaction—love one another. It’s important for each of us as individuals, for our congregation as a church family, and for others outside the church who are watching to see how we conduct ourselves. We need for them to know we are Christ’s disciples. And we want them to join us!