Methodist Churches Across U.S. Are Publicly Rebelling Against Their Leadership’s Anti-LGBTQ Stance

Dec 2006
26,420
11,517
New Haven, CT
#1
I think it's such a shame that a Christian sect has to be split apart - and will probably splinter off - because of something so unChristian and bigoted.

Methodist Churches Across U.S. Are Publicly Rebelling Against Their Leadership’s Anti-LGBTQ Stance

Churches across the United State are publicly displaying their outrage over the General Conference of the United Methodist Church vote last week to reaffirm their teaching that homosexuality is “incompatible” with Christianity and to punish individual churches that perform marriages for same-sex couples and allow LGBTQ clergy.

In response to the vote, individual churches nationwide began displaying pro-LGBTQ signs welcoming members of the LGBTQ into their houses of worship.

Here is just a sample of the growing list of rainbow signs churches have displayed since the vote.

The Grace United Methodist Church covered up the words “United Methodist” in their sign with rainbows.
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The First and Summerfield United Methodist Church in Connecticut displayed a rainbow “Welcome” sign:
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The North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis displayed rainbow doors outside their church:
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The First United Methodist Church in Medford, Oregon, put up a sign that read, “We denounce the immoral decision of the Global UM Church. We stand with LGBTQ unconditionally.”
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The First United Methodist Church of Park Ridge in Illinois covered the word “United” in their sign with rainbow flags.

We took this action “to acknowledge the deep division in our denomination over ministries of full inclusion with LGBTQIA persons,” according to Pastor David Aslesen.
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The Clifton United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote on their church sign, “No matter what the denomination says, God loves you. We do too.”
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The Smoky Hill United Methodist Church in Colorado wrote on their sign, “Love is inclusive, All are Welcome.”
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The Foundry United Methodist Church in D.C. wrapped their building in a giant rainbow banner.
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The Dayspring United Methodist Church in Arizona covered up the words “United Methodist Church” in its sign with black cloth to show they were mourning the “sad demise of a denomination.”
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Dec 2015
15,917
14,811
Arizona
#3
Thanks, Tristan. I've been torn about whether to start a thread on this, but it's such an emotional issue. I appreciate the fact that you were willing to post the thread.
Our local Methodist Church had a service Saturday morning. The Bishop spoke. Our pastor spoke on Sunday morning. Both spoke against the decision. Tears poured down our pastor's face as she spoke and the congregation wept with her. We are stunned. We are grieving but we aren't the only ones.
Conservatives have left the Episcopal Church over gay rights, Presbyterians have split, and many young evangelicals are leaving their churches over the lack of inclusion of L.G.B.T. people.

The decision was not a complete surprise because the "rumblings" started years ago. The decision, passed in a 53 percent to 47 percent vote. The Methodist Church is governed by something called the Book of Discipline. Here's the language:
  • ¶ 304.3: The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church. View full statement.
  • 341.6: Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.
The decision now moves to a judicial body who will decide how to proceed. The worst part of the vote was punitive.
The new rules would tighten enforcement and increase punishment for violations. For instance, clergy who officiate at same-sex weddings could receive a minimum one-year, unpaid suspension, and a second offense could result in removal from the clergy. There was also some discussion about exorbitant fines placed on violating parishes.

The irony? Here is the Methodist Church slogan: Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

We are still reeling. It's just hard to believe this has happened.....but it's just part and parcel of our divided nation.
 
Dec 2006
26,420
11,517
New Haven, CT
#4
Clara - it's surprising to me because there are SO MANY Methodist churches that have openly gay clergy and also that have hosted and performed gay marriage ceremonies. We have two Methodist churches here in New Haven that have similar sign boards to the ones in the opening article. I think this decision is going to be a boost to the member roles in our United Church of Christ congregations here (New Haven has four, I believe), which are (and have been for years) open and welcoming.
 
Likes: Clara007
Dec 2006
26,420
11,517
New Haven, CT
#6
I think celibate priests are an absurdity and a rejection of human nature ... but, if people agree to it, I don't care if they do. If, of course, a church allows STRAIGHT priests to be non-celibate, but require GAY priests to be celibate, than I have a serious issue with that. (And, by 'priests,' I'm referring to ministers, pastors, preachers, or whatever a given sect labels their leaders.)
 
Apr 2013
37,122
25,324
La La Land North
#7
Interestingly, The RC do have openly gay priests, and that it is all good as long as they remain celibate.
Where? Around here they still are totally against it. But even if so in your part of the world, their track record there has been rather disappointing to say the least.
 
Likes: Clara007
Mar 2019
133
25
New Hampshire
#8
When United Churches of Christ went "Open and Affirming" the thinking was, "you watch how many people come to our Churches." Problem was, very few people went to UCC because of the ONA status but several people left!
 
Apr 2013
37,122
25,324
La La Land North
#9
When United Churches of Christ went "Open and Affirming" the thinking was, "you watch how many people come to our Churches." Problem was, very few people went to UCC because of the ONA status but several people left!
And you base this on what exactly?