It is almost Friday, and still I am struggling to find words to express my thoughts and feelings around the Special Called Session of General Conference held in St. Louis last weekend.
As you have likely heard, the One Church Plan, that had been recommended by 2/3 of our United Methodist Bishops as our way forward in unity, did not make it out of committee and onto the floor for vote. Instead, the Traditional Plan was put forth from legislative committee to the plenary session. It narrowly passed even though parts of it are likely unconstitutional.
This Traditional Plan is now to be reviewed for its constitutionality by the Judicial Council, our United Methodist version of the Supreme Court. The Council meets again in April.
So it will take some time before we know how things will unfold from here.
I wasn’t in St. Louis myself, but through Facebook posts on Monday and catching the livestream most of Tuesday, I find that I have experienced the gamut of emotions. Pride in the giftedness of our Great Plains delegation. Hurt. Anger. Disappointment. Anguish. Sadness. Grief.
I’m not concerned so much for myself and how I will get through this as I am for our LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ … friends, family, church family, and clergy … who have once again heard from our denomination that they are “incompatible” and felt the doors of supposed welcome close conditionally in their faces.
And I guess what I’ve come to realize is this … we will get through this as we have in the past … together. I will still be a pastor who preaches that God loves you just as you are, who welcomes all people to experience Christ at his communion table, and who believes in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring grace and understanding to us all.
And together, we will continue to share and show the love of Jesus to all God’s dear ones … in the ways God has ably gifted each of us to do. Grace and peace … --Pastor Pat
Pastor Pat Norris
Something to Ponder is by Pastor Pat and is printed on the back of the bulletin each week.