The Furture of the UMC or lack thereof.

First a little bit about me before I give another opinion. I was born and baptized in the First United Methodist Church in Billings, MT.  To make a long story short, I am and have been a member of my UMC church now for almost 4 years. I love the piety and sometimes I like the polity of the United Methodist Church.

If the United Methodist Church does not support full inclusion of all people, then I feel there will be no United Methodist Church to be a part of.  There is no argument that the United Methodist Church (UMC) is not united on this issue of inclusion, specifically full inclusion of LGBTQ people. The UMC Book of Discipline calls for the inclusion of all people, but, at the same time, the Book of Discipline is contradictory when it comes to the topic of LGBTQ people. However, until LGBTQ people feel welcomed by the entire church, (or at least the majority at General Conference), there may not be a United Methodist Church 50 years from now.

Recently, the UMC Judicial Council ruled that the Social Principals in the UMC Book of Discipline, paragraphs 160-166, are only meant to serve the church as guidelines, not church law. Amen.

Here is an example of something I would change in the UMC Book of Discipline.

Now, if we can only get rid of a line in the clergy rules that states any clergy that officiates a same-gender ceremony could lose their clergy credentials.

Here is the exact phrasing from the 2008 Book of Discipline, paragraph “2702. 1. A bishop, clergy member of an annual conference ( ¶ 369), local pastor, clergy on honorable or administrative location, or diaconal minister may be tried when charged with one or more of the following  offenses: (a) immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual marriage;** (b) practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies

It should be written as:
2702. 1. A bishop, clergy member of an annual conference local pastor,clergy on honorable or administrative location, or diaconal minister may be tried when charged (subject to the statute of limitations in ¶ 2702.4)* with one or more of the following offenses: (a) immorality including but not limited to, not being celibate in singleness or not faithful in a heterosexual monogamous marriage; (b) practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, including but not limited to: being a self-avowed practicing homosexual; or conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions; or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies.”

*General Conference meets every 4 years to amend the Book of Discipline.

I have some LGBTQ friends, and they feel welcome at SOME United Methodist Churches, but not all of them and certainly, not in the general church overall.

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