Wednesday, February 27, 2019
This past weekend and through Tuesday, the world-wide United Methodist Church gathered some 830 delegates for a special General Conference, outside the normal four-year cycle, to discuss gender issues within the church, specifically, same-gender marriage and the ordination of LGBT.
There were several proposals submitted for action, details of which can be found on our conference website here: https://dscumc.org/news/general-conference/ On Tuesday, the so-called “modified traditional plan” was approved by a margin of 54 votes (about 6.6% margin). For many, who advocate for LGBT, this was a disappointing outcome. For others, it is a sign of encouragement. Still others find it as a continuing sign of denominational discord.
It will be some time before we fully know what this decision will mean for the church at large and how it may impact us at LUMC. For now, I can share that this does not change our UM doctrine from what it has been nor does it change who we are at Lakeview or what we are about. Our mission, along with our sister churches in Sun City, is fairly unique so we will continue to Change Lives by caring for Mind, Body, and Soul – we keep doing what we are doing!
The issue is an important one because all of God’s people are created in His image though we are imperfect, fallible, and in need of redemption and we often struggle to understand how to respond and relate to one another. This issue, though important and in need of resolution, is not one which affects the essentials of our faith; we are redeemed by the work of Jesus on the cross and his triumph over death on Easter morning. What is essential is our receiving Christ’s offer of salvation and our response to that invitation.
Let us not be a people critical of others, dismissive, or judgmental about their salvation and place in the kingdom. Until Christ comes again, let us not be discouraged or distracted from our faith, from our focus on serving, from our worship of the living God and from doing our absolute best to see God’s image in each and every person we encounter.