Reflections and Prayer from Special Called 2019 General Conference

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Decisions have been made, voices have been heard, actions have been celebrated, and feelings have been hurt. On all sides of the issues of biblical interpretation and human sexuality facing the United Methodist Church, new challenges are facing us. We have work to do as a denomination, a community, and children of God. Let us first acknowledge the great work that has already been done:

Thank You General Conference,
The hours of prayer, reading, discussing and discerning from all members of General Conference are appreciated. Your dedication to the process and the sacrifice you all made to help this denomination can never be repaid. We pray that God blesses the commitment you’ve shown to this denomination and this church.

Thank You Judicial Counsel,
Your analysis of the constitutionality of the passed plan was swift and clear. We apologize for the expectation that we placed on you all to be the moral compass of our denomination. You faithfully executed the responsibilities of your position in the life of our church. Your fairness and resistance to biases have not gone unnoticed.

Thank You God,
You have loved us enough to expose this area of growth that we continue to struggle with. This denomination has work to do. At General Conference, as a church, we decided that the traditional plan was the best way for the church to share the love of Christ in the world. The plan ironically strengthens the current standing of the UMC that holds LGBTQIA+ partnerships, relationships, marriages, and unions as inconsistent with Christian living.

I fear the United Methodist Church still doesn’t have an appropriate understanding of the word Open. Our claim of open hearts and open minds and open doors is a lie, which would cause us to be inconsistent with Christian living.
We have closed our hearts to full expressions of Christ’s love.
We have closed our minds to alternative convictions and interpretations of Christian living.
We have closed our doors to the LGBTQIA+ community living out their faith in our denomination.

We have singled out this community and accepted discriminating legislation based on our interpretation while ignoring the explicit sins mentioned in your scripture.

You have tried to teach us this lesson before. In our past, we have been compelled to acknowledge our persecution and discrimination of the Native American and African American communities. We have not applied the lessons you taught us through our failures to love and now are faced with the need to acknowledge the harm we have caused due to our discrimination and persecution again.

Our Prayer
Lead us, God, to acknowledge our hypocrisy and repentance for our failure to love all of your children.

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