March 1, 2019
Dear members and friends of Pleasant Grove UMC,
As you may know by now, the governing body of the United Methodist Church, the General Conference, voted on Tuesday February 26th to continue the Traditional plan that places restrictions on members of the LGBTQ community being involved in the clergy leadership positions of the church. In fact, the restrictions and penalties for current clergy who perform LGBTQ weddings were strengthened.
The United Methodist Church is a global church and the main objections to overturning the ban on LGBTQ individuals came from the Africa, Asia and Russia. More than two-thirds of American United Methodist Churches were in favor of becoming more inclusive and recognizing and applauding the sacred worth of every one of God’s human beings. But it was not to be.
For more than 150 years, Pleasant Grove UMC has been a beacon of God’s light in the community. We have always welcomed everyone, and we will continue to be that safe haven.
It took many years for the Church to welcome African Americans and even more to welcome women into full clerical leadership. It seems that more time will have to pass before the UMC becomes truly inclusive.In the meantime, each of us should remember again and practice the words of Jesus: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
God’s blessings to each of you, Dick