May 3

Roy’s Ramblings

For those of you who might not be aware… the past two weeks the United Methodist Church has been having its worldwide meeting known as “General Conference”. This gathering is *technically* the 2020 gathering… but you know – COVID. Some BIG things have been happening at this go around, and I feel like the church is finally catching up… Let me explain:

We are a Global Church. And that means there are many countries, on many continents, with many different cultures and practices. So, one of the very first things done at this General Conference is to allow Regionalization; which will allow different geographic regions equal standing in decision-making. Regionalization has become United Methodist shorthand for a package of legislation that would restructure the denomination. Under the legislation, the U.S. and each central conference — church regions in Africa, Europe, and the Philippines — would become regional conferences with the same authority to adapt the Book of Discipline, the denomination’s policy book, for more missional effectiveness. This, basically will allow each area to adapt the church to suit their culture.

Now for the really BIG one: for a long time, our Book of Discipline has declared that the “practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” This statement has brought a LOT of harm as it has been used to disqualify legitimately good, qualified, and called candidates to ministry from being ordained – or even seeking ordination. Then, there are those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community who were closeted upon their ordination, and even though they have done excellent (and even exemplary) ministry, have lived in fear of being outed and being defrocked (have their ordination stripped) as a result. And, some others have been defrocked.

During this General Conference it was voted, as a body, by 93% for that language to be removed, opening the way for called members of the LGBTQ+ community to follow how the Spirit is leading them in their lives towards ministry, and lets my siblings in Christ who are serving in ministry who have been afraid for far too long to breathe a sigh of relief! They have also opened the doors for Local United Methodist churches and pastors to perform same-gender weddings and to be able to support LGBTQ+ centered ministries and causes financially as well as spiritually.

There are still other things that need to happen, but positive steps in those directions have been taking place there as well! There are many other decisions and votes that have taken place and I am looking forward to the printing of the new Discipline for some light reading on all that has happened. Revival is coming to the United Methodist Church my friends …

This is a good day!

Prayers and Blessings for us ALL!!!! Pastor Roy