Methodist confirmation class rejects the Church over its anti-LGBTI policies

The United Methodist Church announced anti-LGBTI policies earlier this year

An entire confirmation class at the First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska have denounced the Church over its anti-LGBTI policies.

What happened?

The small class of eight students, ages 13 and 14, announced they would not be joining the Church at their confirmation. Right in front of other church-goers, the group read a letter they penned to the Church.

Watch a video of them reading their letter below:

The letter

‘We have spent the year learning about our faith and clarifying our beliefs,’ the letter reads. ‘Most of us started the confirmation year assuming that we would join the church at the end. But with the action of the general conference in February, we are disappointed about the direction the United Methodist denomination is heading.’

‘We are concerned that if we join at this time, we will be sending a message that we approve of this decision. We want to be clear that, while we love our congregation, we believe that the United Methodist policies on LGBTQ+ clergy and same sex marriage are immoral. Depending on how this church responds to the general conference action, we will decide at a later time whether or not to become officially confirmed.’

‘But until then, we will continue to stand up against the unjust actions that the denomination is taking. We are not standing just for ourselves. We are standing for every single member of the LGBTQ+ community who is hurting right now. Because we were raised in this church, we believe that if we all stand together as a whole, we can make a difference.’

The reaction

Surprisingly, the rest of the congregation in attendance gave the students a standing ovation. Following the ceremony, the Church treated the group to dinner and gifted each student with a journal.

See Also:

United Methodist Church could break up over LGBTI issues

Tampa Bay United Methodist clergy to defy the Church’s LGBTI ban

Gay Christian delivers rousing speech pleading for church to accept him

Author: Rafaella Gunz

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Entire Methodist confirmation class declines to become members over anti-LGBTQ policies

MARCH 5, 2019: Openly gay Elk Grove pastor Matt Pearson speaks about his experiences at the recent United Methodist Conference, where the anti-gay Traditional Plan was passed.“We are concerned that if we join at this time, we will be sending a message that we approve of this decision.”

Author: Bil Browning

The post Entire Methodist confirmation class declines to become members over anti-LGBTQ policies appeared first on LGBTQ Nation.

United Methodist Church upholds plan to restrict LGBTI inclusion

Methodists at Captial Pride

The United Methodist Church’s (UMC) judicial council upheld a new plan which strengthens bans on LGBTI inclusion on Friday (26 April).

This includes banning same-sex weddings and the ordination of LGBTI pastors.

The move comes amid ongoing speculation that the largest mainline Protestant denomination in America could break up because of disputes surrounding LGBTI rights.

The policy, called the Traditional Plan, could go into effect by 1 January next year.

While conservative elements of the UMC welcomed the council’s ruling, opponents to the Traditional Plan expressed dismay.

Liberal and centrist elements of the UMC have vowed to increase their resistance to the policy, the Washington Post reports.

Set to go into effect at the start of 2020

The nine-person council ruled in favor of the Traditional Plan following a four-day meeting in Illinois.

While they found some aspects of the policy to be unconstitutional, the council upheld the bulk of the plan.

It is now set to go into effect at the start of 2020.

The Traditional Plan was first voted in by 438-384 votes from Methodist delegates at a special UMC conference in St. Louis in February.

Most of the US-based delegates opposed the plan and supported LGBTI-inclusive options.

However, US conservatives rallied Methodist delegates from Africa and the Philippines to vote through the policy. Africa and the Philippines are two Methodist strongholds with fierce anti-LGBTI beliefs.

While opponents of the Traditional Plan will have the chance to overturn the policy at the UMC’s next general conference in May next year, this seems unlikely to happen.

Analysts have predicted that the UMC’s conservative base will have become even stronger by the time of the conference.

Long-running dispute 

The dispute over LGBTI inclusion in the UMC has been brewing for decades.

The UMC has 12.6 million members around the world, with almost seven million living in the US.

While official UMC policy has largely been anti-LGBTI, LGBTI bans have been inconsistently enforced.

Several UMC churches have performed same-sex ceremonies, sometimes while flying rainbow flags in support of LGBTI rights. A number of pastors have also come out while at the pulpit.

With the Traditional Plan set to go into effect, there will be increased speculation that the church will split.

It seems likely that the conservatives base will remain in the UMC, while the liberal and centrist factions break off from the main church.

Author: Calum Stuart

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