March 2018. Two Dallas area Methodist churches have voted to allow same-sex weddings in their sanctuaries. St. Stephen’s congregation voted to approve a proposal to, “support and honor marriages of couples without regard to their sexual orientation. We will offer the use of our church, including our sanctuary, for ceremonies of marriage to all couples, including same-sex couples. We pledge our full support to any of our clergy who choose to perform marriages without regard to sexual orientation.” Oak Lawn United Methodist Church approved a consensus statement stating that the church, “should open our doors to support and honor marriages of all couples licensed to be married. We also agree that our church property, including our sanctuary, should be available for all ceremonies of legal marriage.” READ IT HERE.
While our congregation is very welcoming, other statements send a conflicting message. The UMC’s Book of Discipline states that the church “does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching”. Among other things, this means that LGBTQ+ couples cannot be married in the church and LGBTQ+ people cannot be ordained. As such, many LGBTQ+ people feel that they are not welcome in the United Methodist Church. Reconciling suggests a larger meaning, specifically that of healing and restoring harmony in our relationship with God and one another through Jesus Christ.
As a group sanctioned by the First United Methodist Church of Moorestown, the Reconciling Team was established to dialogue about the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals in the life and ministries of FUMC. We seek to become a Reconciling Congregation which is fully inclusive and welcoming, not judging persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
We proclaim a statement of welcome to all who have known the pain of exclusion or discrimination in church and society, and invite all people to join in a faith journey toward greater love, understanding and mutual respect. We firmly believe in the authority of the Bible as the word of God and this has guided our Mission Statement:
FUMC of Moorestown seeks to live the motto of the United Methodist Church: “Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors.” Following the example of Jesus, the Reconciling Team of FUMC believes that living this motto means dedicating ourselves to social justice and service. We affirm the scriptural message that all people are created in the image of God, and as beloved children of God, all are worthy of God’s love and grace. We celebrate our human family’s differences, including diversity of race, ethnicity, age, religious background, life experience, economic status, marital status, family configuration, physical and developmental ability, education, sexual orientation and gender identity. As Jesus welcomes each of us, we welcome the full inclusion of all people in the life and ministries of FUMC to worship, love, serve and grow.
What Actions Have We Taken?
The Reconciling Team has been recognized by the Reconciling Ministry Network (RMN), a national organization of United Methodist individuals, churches and small groups (“communities”). See www.rmnetwork.org for more information.
Please contact Allan Hanlon at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Peggy Campolo Presentation
at First United Methodist Church January 14, 2018
Play Audio Below
The Reconciling Team recommends the following outside sources for additional information:
Christians Talk (Video Clips)
- America’s pastors rethink homosexuality (3:25)
- The Bible and Homosexuality (Part 1) (2:26)
- The Bible Doesn’t Change, our Understanding Does (4:07)
- Christian Parents Rethink LGBT Inclusion (4:00)
- The Realities of the Gay Lifestyle (3:26)
- Moral Crisis in Church (1:57)