With absolutely no intention of malice, no sense of self-righteousness and no felt need to convince anyone that I am right and they are wrong, I do believe that now is the time for me to simply state that I believe full inclusion into the life of the United Methodist Church for all people is the will of God. Marriage, Ordination, respect for the gifts we all have to offer – that is what needs to be, or become, the norm for our church.
As I watched some of the live stream of United Methodism’s General Conference, followed the twitter feed and read articles posted on Facebook, I felt frustrated, pained, and sometimes I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing or hearing.
I would be so very disappointed if the church were to split, no matter how amicable or well thought out the planning and implementation of it. For me, that would be a sign to the world that love for one another within the church is trumped by the opinions we hold. To think that the church, as a kind of sacramental sign and embodiment of God’s unconditional love for all of us, might melt under the heat of our stubbornness leaves a weight of sadness in me. I am aware that the understanding of Scripture cuts a very deep groove in the heart and faith of any of us. I see how the conflicting convictions can drive people apart.
Still, I long for the miracle of the good news of Jesus to take a deeper hold of us all. I pray we will recognize the incredible wonder of belonging to an organic community where the only “lock-step” requirement is the sincere desire to follow Christ.
“Come, all who are weary and carrying heavy burdens.” That’s the invitation Jesus extends. And anyone who is responding to that call – they are my sister and brother in Christ. I need no more from them. They will receive no less from me.