As some of you know, the 2019 Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church convened its work on February 26. The conference met to address matters regarding human sexuality. Three main plans were proposed to seek ways to move forward in unity as a denomination. The plan the Council of Bishops chose, “The OneChurch Plan,” did not pass. This plan would have allowed United Methodist clergy to perform same-gender weddings and allow annual conferences to ordain LGBTQIA pastors. The plan that prevailed was the Traditionalist Plan. This plan maintains the global United Methodist teaching on human sexuality that declares “homosexuality is
incompatible with Christian teaching.”
As we process the outcome of GC2019, know that Lovely Lane United Methodist Church is first, and foremost, the church of Jesus Christ, a church that loves and welcomes ALL people. I want to refer you to the statement on the back of the weekly worship bulletin. (See Lovely Lane UMC Vision on page 2, also found on the church website at https://www.lovelylane.org/our-mission-and-vision/.) The statement speaks of
love and light, Christ’s love and Christ’s light, which is in us and shines out to those around us. It is this light and love that must sustain and motivate us in ministry, especially in the wake of GC2019.
In the words of a delegate at GC2019, “The church is not the General Conference.” The church is YOU, the followers of Jesus Christ at Lovely Lane UMC. Regardless of the direction of the larger United Methodist Church, Lovely Lane UMC is a place where all people may find the love of Christ, seek refuge in the storm, and connect with the power of the Holy Spirit. When youth have tough conversations about their
faith and daily life, love and light permeate the space. As disciples of all ages come together on Wednesdays for supper and faith formation, Christ shows up in one another. When people from the community come through the doors of the church for Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), Children’s Weekday Ministries, Boy Scouts, and other events, this church is the light of Christ, shining in the darkness. As followers
of Jesus gather for worship, Christ’s light shines as worshipers find common ground in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
We will continue to plan for the future ministries of making disciples and, in doing so, will grow in our faithfulness as Christ’s church. After all, “Our vision is to reflect God’s glory in our congregation, in our world, and in our hearts. Forgiven by Christ, we forgive. Accepted by God, we accept. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we equip, enable and inspire God’s household to servant leadership.” We shine Christ’s light
because, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” (John 1:5, CEB) I hope you will all continue to walk with me as we share
Christ’s love and shine the light of Christ that will never be extinguished.