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Reflections from Wed’s vote on sexuality

May 3, 2012

As exciting and inspiring as it is to witness and experience the vital mission and ministry of United Methodism from around the world, the General Conference also has moments of great disappointment and frustration.  The Wednesday morning Plenary was one of those times for me. When given the opportunity to change our Social Principals allowing us to acknowledge our differences of thought and interpretation of Scripture, and to affirm our love and care for all people, the General Conference sadly said no.    I pray for the day when we as United Methodists will not only acknowledge that we have differences and can remain connected in Christ, but become as inclusive and welcoming of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, as I believe God calls us to be.   Come Holy Spirit. Come.

-Steve Polster

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6 Comments
  1. dave werner permalink

    i appreciate your commenting, Steve.

    A “win” by majority vote, alas, can also be seen as a loss. i see this vote–and others–as loss upon loss.

  2. Jeff Virchow permalink

    Thanks for your comments Steve. I read them just as I’m looking at the passage from Acts 8 for this Sunday – the story of Philip and the eunuch. I’m thinking, what if Philip had met the eunuch and said, “you know that it says in Deuteronomy that anyone who is a eunuch is not welcome in God’s house. I still love you, but you can never be a full participant in our family of faith.” I suspect the eunuch might have gone back to Egypt and turned his back on Christianity. Frankly it’s a mystery to me that people with same-sex orientations have been so faithful and so persistent in their efforts to gain full acceptance in the UMC. I don’t know how they haven’t been overwhelmed with frustration. I’ll share these stories with our folks again this Sunday, but I have to say I’m really tired…and retirement is looking more and more attractive.

  3. Jeff Virchow permalink

    I meant Ethiopia… :/

  4. Marianne Cotter permalink

    Steve, was it simply that the voices for greater inclusion were outnumbered by the southern jurisdictions/central conferences voices? Could you give us a feel for the tenor of the debate and why this petition acknowledging the division in the UMC on this issue got voted down? Thanks.

  5. Mary Lou Taylor permalink

    I despair for the future of a condemning church.

  6. Mark Klaisner permalink

    I am tired of being forced to take sides on this debate. As United Methodists seeing all people as being a child of God needs to be a part of our DNA. Personally, I don’t need a rainbow colored scarf to remind me of that fact. There are many of us who don’t stand on one side or another concerning this debate. A number of clergy believe that they are called to love and to serve those in our midst whether they’re gay, straight, conservative, or liberal. Sadly, I have felt that we have defined ourselves,as a denomination, by beating ourselves up over this issue of sexuality and orientation.

    Thank you for your words and insights Steve.

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