For almost 20 years, we have had a sign in our sanctuary at Community United Methodist Church in Cedaredge that says, "Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors." This is an expression of our commitment to welcome all people.
The recent national media coverage of the 2019 United Methodist General Conference reports that the global United Methodist Church has chosen to close itself to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people. The General Conference passed legislation that would restrict full involvement by LGBTQ people in the United Methodist Church. In late April, this excluding legislation will be considered by the Judicial Council of the denomination, which will decide if it is constitutional or not under the denomination's constitution.
We totally disagree with the action of the United Methodist General Conference, and we hope and pray it will be found unconstitutional. Whatever is officially decided, we agree with Bev Gardner, the chairperson of our local church's Administrative Council who says: "We are an open congregation. We always have been and always will be. We welcome everyone. No General Conference will ever be able to close our hearts, minds or doors."
For the harm done to LGBTQ people of our congregation, our community, our county, our country and our world, and their families, friends and allies, we offer our apologies for the action of our General Conference. We believe all people are created in the image of God, and we welcome all people to fully participate in the life of our congregation. The benediction we say every Sunday comes from the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. It says, "Do no harm, do good and stay in love with God." We try to do all three of these.
In the name of Jesus the Christ, the person for others,
Steve Countryman Lay Leader
Joe Agne, Pastor