Friday, November 04, 2005

Bishops are Bad Methodists, too

Apparently I'm not the only Bad Methodist who thinks the church should not be excluding people from membership due to their sexual orientation. The United Methodist Council of Bishops seem to agree. The judicial ruling supporting a pastor's right to deny a gay man church membership came down while the Bishops were having their weeklong fall meeting in Lake Junaluska, NC and they spent four hours in closed session drafting a response.

While pastors have the responsibility to discern readiness for membership, homosexuality is not a barrier. With the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church we affirm: "that God's grace is available to all, and we will seek to live together in Christian community. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons." (Para. 161g, 2004 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church)

This gives me hope for our denomination. While we have a long way to go toward being the church of "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors" that we profess to be, it's good to know that the Bishops leading the church understand that no one is exempt from God's grace.

Baby steps.

(For the full text of the Council of Bishops' response, click here.)


At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link to this statement. I was very troubled this week by the story, but had not looked for any response from the Bishops.

I'm glad to find your site - thanks to / dailykos.


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