A press release offers this response from General Secretary Susan Henry-Crowe of the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, released after the 2019 General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted the Traditionalist Plan:
The United Methodist Church’s special General Conference failed to love LGBTQIA people, recognize their gifts in the church, maintain our unity in the midst of diversity, and live out our Gospel mandate to seek justice and pursue peace.
We worship a fully-inclusive, justice-seeking God. Church and Society is committed to living out our faith, seeking justice and pursuing peace. We will be in ministry with all people who seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Church and Society will never cease to work with God to build the fully-inclusive realm of God on earth.
The 2019 General Conference chose to further deepen the divide in The United Methodist Church. The plan adopted by a slim majority is punitive, contrary to our Wesleyan heritage, and in clear violation of the mandate given to us in 1 Corinthians 12.
“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’” (1 Corinthians 12:21a) One part of our church cannot say to another, “I don’t need you.” And yet, that’s exactly what happened.
The 2019 General Conference brought unbearable pain to the body of Christ. The delegates’ resistance to hear and honor the presence and voices of LGBTQIA people has created a wound. The wound may one day be healed by the grace of God, but the scar left behind will be visible forever.
Our prayer must be of repentance. We must seek forgiveness. We must call on Christ to heal all of the brokenness we have imposed on the body.
I will pray for forgiveness in my part of having participated in a church that has excluded, pushed out and damaged many faith-filled LGBTQIA people. For all the families and young people wounded by these exclusions, we must always pray.
Whatever comes next for The United Methodist Church, I am steadfast in my belief that the General Conference cannot release us from our responsibility to love and care for a world groaning for justice.
We must also put our faith into action, and continue to work for LGBTQIA equality in civil and human rights.
We will seek justice for LGBTQIA migrants. We will seek to end conversion therapy, the dangerous and discredited idea that you can change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. We will work to ensure that no one is fired from their job or prevented from access to housing because they are LGBTQIA. We will work to end hate crimes against LGBTQIA people, especially LGBTQIA people of color. We will seek a climate in which LGBTQIA children are protected and enabled to live full and flourishing lives.
The work of justice and peace continues. Whatever comes next for The United Methodist Church, I am steadfast in my belief that the General Conference cannot release us from our responsibility to love and care for a world groaning for justice.
NPR Morning Edition spoke to Kenneth Carter, Jr., president of the Church’s Council of Bishops: Listen here. (Transcript will be available later in the day.)
Good thread here:
Last night, the United Methodist Church voted to toughen its standards and discipline on LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage. I want to talk about a painful possible consequence of this choice: That people–and churches–will choose to leave the UMC. /1https://t.co/trYpUjZ0hb
— Emma Green (@emmaogreen) February 27, 2019