This Thursday, January 24, at 7 pm in the Fellowship Hall there will be discussion of the upcoming Special General Conference session to be held next month in St. Louis. The General Conference will be taking up the recommendation of the United Methodist Council of Bishops and the Commission on the Way Forward. I spoke about this last Sunday and Thursday evening will be an opportunity for conversation and sharing more information about what the United Methodist Church might do with the current division over the matters of same sex marriage and the ordination and licensing of LGBTQ persons. Rev. Sullivan will lead us in the conversation and help us to understand what this moment might mean for both The United Methodist Church and Calvary United Methodist Church.
The level of disagreement over this matter has led some currently within the United Methodist Church to consider leaving the denomination. There are many persons within the church who continue to be hurt by the language and actions of others within the church. And this division is not just felt at the conference or national level of the church, but even within our own congregation. There have been persons within Calvary Church that have heard hurtful language about themselves or the persons they love and ended up leaving the church as a result. My hope is that we can find ways to talk with one another with mutual respect and consideration. That we might be aware of the challenges we face, in our own lives as well as in the life of the church, and practice transparency and civility. We may not come to full agreement, but we can model a kind of love that Jesus calls us to show.
Those who follow Jesus Christ are called to take a different posture when it comes to working with others. As Paul wrote,
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
That’s not easy, but then whoever said that following Jesus would always be easy?