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Pastor Sara's Page

April 2019

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I write this letter we find ourselves in the middle of the Lenten season; a season of reflection, repentance, and self-examination.   But at this time, we also find ourselves in the aftermath of the special called session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church.  As a denomination we find ourselves filled with uncertainty, anxiety, confusion, anger, hurt, and many other feelings. 

For some there is a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that the Traditional Plan passed (a plan that upholds the current language in the Book of Discipline with additional accountability for clergy and bishops).  This is a plan that has already been ruled largely unconstitutional by our Judicial Council.  It will be reviewed again by the Judicial Council in April.

There is a feeling of hurt, anger, and frustration for many who had placed their hope in the One Church Plan (which failed to pass).  The One Church Plan would have allowed Annual Conferences, Churches, and Pastors to make their own decisions regarding their scriptural understanding about whether or not to perform same-gender marriages and the ordination of LGBTQ clergy.  There have already been withdrawals of membership within our charge because of the stance that was affirmed at GC2019.

As we approach the celebration of Easter, I want to remind you all that Jesus Christ came to this earth taking on the form of humanity, knowing the joys and sorrows of life, so that he might die upon a cross for our benefit.  His death on a cross for our benefit offers us the hope of eternal life through His redeeming love for all of creation because He overcame the grave and the power of death through His resurrection. 

Jesus didn’t die for just some: the ones who look, act, and believe just as we do.  Christ died for all:  people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, socio-economic backgrounds; the homeless, the immigrant, the refugee, the foreigner, the stranger, the addict, the ex-convict, the abuser,; the humble, the meek, the prideful, the sinner.  We are all sinners saved by the grace of God.  No one is above any other.  We are all unworthy but made worthy by Christ’s redeeming love.

May the blessings and joys of the Easter season fill you with hope and love.  May your hearts, minds, and eyes be open to all as we welcome people in the name of the risen Christ to our sanctuaries, our homes, and our communities.

In Christ’s service,

Pastor Sara