Pastor's Blog - Grace's Work for Full Inclusion
Dear Grace Church Family,
At our called Administrative council meeting Sunday, March the 17th, with 53 leaders in attendance, I shared that I will no longer discriminate against any two people who demonstrate a maturity in their relationship and participate in pre-marital counseling as they approach marriage; therefore, I will no longer uphold the denomination’s injunction against same-sex marriages. I will live out my strong belief that all people are fully included in the life of faith, and are of God, no exceptions.
Concerning weddings, the admin council voted to recommend to the Grace congregation that same-sex weddings be performed by the same guidelines that direct all weddings. The congregation is invited to stay on Sunday, March the 24th, for a vote on this at the conclusion of Sunday’s service. If you are unable to be here but would like to submit you vote, please send a Yes or No in care of our admin, Alan Kernell, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The statement will read as follows:
Grace Church will be open to all weddings, including same-sex weddings, provided everything is in order regarding relationship, readiness, and pre-marital counseling.
In other actions, Grace Church voted to escrow all apportionments until at least July 24 when we will revisit that decision. We will meanwhile send a letter to our North Texas Conference Ministry Center, explaining our action as other than punitive.
Don Dillard, Grace Church lay leader, will chair a team of volunteers who will study what it means to affiliate with the UCC while remaining Methodist.
I am part of a group of clergy in the North Texas Conference whose goal is to become a One-Church Conference. This group is called North Texans 4 One Church Plan. Adam and Eric are in that group as well. Eric is part of a team working to get voting lay members to Annual Conference to sign the NT4One Church Covenant of Unity, with the hope that on June 3rd or 4th, we can pass legislation being created by a team of three clergy persons at our Annual Conference stating that our conference will become a One Church Conference. We are working to develop contingency plans should the Unity Covenant fail.
In addition, Adam and I were two of 177 clergy who signed the one page, rainbow-colored DMN ad that ran in yesterday’s paper, apologizing to the LGBTQI+ community for the harm done to them by the called General Conference decisions. (Please see letter here.)
May the peace of the risen Christ be with you all,