Last Sunday (December 2, 2018), I gave a presentation after worship at Franklin United Methodist Church, on the upcoming Special General Conference being held in February 2019 to discuss how we as The United Methodist Church will welcome and include the LGBTQ community in the life and work of the church. If you would like to learn more, here are a few (of what I hope are) helpful links and resources:
- Here are links to my presentation—AUDIO ONLY—SLIDES W/ AUDIO. These have been slightly edited. After listening to myself, it was apparent how nervous I was. I tried to edit out some of the umms, ahhs, and long pauses. There were too many to delete them all. Note: I did make a significant verbal error in my presentation, which if you follow along the slides you may not notice, but the Methodist Church was founded in 1939, not 1993. It was right on the slide.
- Here is the link to the Resource Packet I put together. It includes a brief outlining of what the Scriptures say and what our Book of Discipline defines as doctrine, law, and social teaching of The United Methodist Church.
- Some people in my congregation have asked what the Scriptures teach about homosexuality. Here is a helpful resource from an inclusivist perspective entitled “The Bible Doesn’t Say That Homosexuality is a Sin.”
- A website has been launched to answer questions about and explain the “One Church Plan” being recommended by the majority of active bishops. You can find it at http://onechurchplan.org. As a reminder, this plan allows for cultural difference and interpretation by allowing annual conferences, local churches, and clergy to decide how they will respond and include LGBTQ persons. At its core, this plan works on the premise that what binds us together, and what makes us Christian, is not our understanding of sexual ethics, but the mission and gospel of Jesus Christ.
If you have any questions about these resources and the upcoming General Conference and how it may impact the local church, please do not hesitate to ask. As February approaches, I am very interested to know what other materials you may need so that you can thoughtfully and prayerfully enter the conversation as we find our way forward together.
Note: if you would like to adapt any of these materials to your context, please do so with the appropriate attribution. I am happy to forward you versions of the PowerPoint and the resource packet that can be edited. The best method to reach me is to click the feedback link above. Give a valid email address, along with where you anticipate sharing this information, and I will gladly pass along the materials. I believe this is a critical conversation that needs to be had in every United Methodist Church and if I can help facilitate that conversation, even in a small way, I am more than happy to do so.