Letter to North Texas Delegates to General Conference 2019

Members of the Grace community who attended the 2019 Leadership Retreat agreed that Grace should send a letter of encouragement and hope to the North Texas Conference delegates attending the called General Conference of the United Methodist Church, February 23-26, 2019. The letter speaks to Grace’s long-standing position of inclusion of all persons in the life and ministries of our church. Please contact the church at gumc@graceumcdallas.org for questions, comments or concerns.

Join us in prayer for the church and all the people of God. Thank you.

In the name and the grace of our God in Jesus Christ, greetings.

Thank you for your tireless work on behalf of the North Texas Conference, as you represent us, again, at the called gathering of the United Methodist Church.  Your ministry to the Church has been a wonderful witness to the dedication and commitment it takes to bring forth the Reign of God among us.

As you probably know, Grace United Methodist Church states publicly, with other reconciling churches, that we will “resist evil, injustice, and oppression as we seek justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.” The family of Grace Church is praying fervently for next month’s General Conference to remove language from The Book of Discipline stating that living out persons’ homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching: It is the only instance where children of God are set apart from the Christian community for being who they are—and is likened to crime, undermining Christian teaching or ministers, child and sexual abuse, racial and sexual harassment and discrimination, and fiscal malfeasance. (¶ 2702)

Members of Grace are not so naïve as to believe that injustice against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + persons is the only injustice to overcome, and we will continue to pray and work against racism, sexism, and classism, in particular.  Removing the Discipline’s explicit targeting of gay persons will allow the church to continue  the work of inclusion of all God’s children—because again, we are not so naïve as to think that removing discriminatory language will end discrimination, as our sisters and black brethren know well.

To that end, Grace will dedicate our Sunday worship on February 17, 2019, to prayers of lament and hope for the Church and God’s people.  We would love for you to join us at 10:50 that day.

No matter the results of the called General Conference, Grace Church is committed to “proclaiming Christ Crucified and Risen, the power of God and the wisdom of God, for all people.  For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness stronger than human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:24-25)

Blessings on your travel, deliberations, and work in the Spirit.

Yours truly,

Stephen L. Hines, Administrative Council Chair, for the Grace Dallas family