Friday, May 2, 2008

Sadly- Across Denominations

After the United Methodist Church General Conference yesterday stopped all the overtures (around ordination and same gender marriage) that would grant equality to lgbt members their Reconciling Ministries Network put together the following proclamation as part of yesterday's 15 minute witness. (You can watch this moving prophetic witness to the UMC in the video archives found at And you can hear a little of the wonderful music and worship that was part of the GC there as well.) Such a sad week--beginning with the convoluted decision about same gender marriage in Spahr v. PCUSA and ending with this. Have the mainline Protestant churches so forgotten Jesus and his message of radical hospitality and inclusion?

THE 2008 General Conference Proclamation:

We have heard Jesus say – to all persons without exception – “follow me.”
We are part of God’s living body in today’s world, but our United Methodist Church
refuses to accept what God has done,
refuses to keep covenant with its own words in the baptismal promise,
refuses to honor God’s call to professional ministry,
refuses to do no harm,
refuses to open its hearts, minds, and doors.

The unchurched notice. They notice the church
cruelly scapegoating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
on the altar of so-called unity
The young notice. They notice the church
denying, refusing, threatening, removing, closeting
the lgbt people who faithfully serve the church.
The world notices.
We notice.
God notices.

The United Methodist baptismal liturgy calls all of us to
accept the freedom and power God gives us
to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
in whatever forms they present themselves.

It is our duty – our baptismal covenant – to stand against the sin of the church,
to stand for God’s freedom and power,
to affirm God’s entire body of Christ that is the church.

We are God's children,
here … now.

Today we boldly declare by standing here
that our church’s doors and our ministries will radically obey the Gospel
that we defy bigotry and ignorance,
that the anti-gay policies and practices of The United Methodist Church are wrong.

By human means we cannot stand
but by the grace of God we can.

By standing
we reject the idea that homosexuality is a sin
By standing
we affirm that sexuality is a good gift of God
By standing
we affirm our intent to spread God’s love and grace
By standing
we bless and celebrate families, all families.

We do not stand alone.
We stand in solidarity with all those
who are not here,
who are not in our congregations.
We stand with those who’ve been forced out and who’ve never come in,
who already affirm one another as beloved children of God,
regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

We stand with holy boldness
to welcome LGBT laity and clergy into our churches and pulpits, NOW;
to keep baptismal promises for all, NOW;
to affirm calls to ministries for all people, NOW;
to bless covenant relationships in our churches by our clergy, NOW;
to assure membership for all, NOW;
to provide hospitality for all, NOW.

Join us. Stand now. Build our future with hope and trust in God.

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