Central United Methodist Church
Monday, September 25, 2017
Endicott, New York
 
Reconciling Congregations - Congregational Vote on May 1, 2016
 
 

On May 1, Central members gathered around tables in the Fellowship Hall for conversation centered on questions presented by our Reconciling Task Force to help Central make a decision whether or not we become a Reconciling Congregation.  The final vote provided overwhelming support for Central to officially become a Reconciling Congregation.

What is a "reconciling congregation"?  From the Reconciling Ministries Network -  

A Reconciling Congregation is a United Methodist local church that makes a public statement welcoming all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, to participate fully in its congregational life.  

Reconciling Congregations highlight the blatant discrimination which gay, lesbian and bisexual persons face in our church and society. In The United Methodist Church, lesbian, gay and bisexual persons are the only social group for whom participation in some aspects of general church life is barred by church law.

However, there are other persons and groups in our society with whom our churches must be reconciled. Most Reconciling Congregations adopt a reconciling statement that welcomes all persons, “regardless of age, gender, race, class, ethnic background, mental or physical ability, or gender/sexual orientation.”

 

Central’s decision on May 1 will not change the world. But by publicly stating that we disagree with the hurtful language of the Book of Discipline of the UMC we are letting everyone know that Central is a safe, loving, and accepting place to worship God. 

 

 

Resolutions from the Reconciling Task Force for consideration on May 1

Whereas, we believe the Book of Discipline uses hurtful language saying that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching; and

Whereas, the Book of Discipline prohibits homosexuals from answering God’s call into the ministry and prohibits same sex marriages to be performed by church elders or allow same sex marriages on church property relegating homosexuals to second class membership; and

Whereas, Central United Methodist Church celebrates the diversity of all God’s people, believing we are all created in God’s image and equally loved by God our creator. In keeping with this belief, we want to affirm and acknowledge any persons who may have been wounded by the church by discrimination or feelings of exclusion.

Therefore, be it resolved that Central United Methodist Church will fully include all persons who enter its doors, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, creed, age, economic status, physical or mental abilities. All people will be treated with respect and the unconditional love of God.

Therefore, be it further resolved that we join in this covenant to continue the process, together with the Reconciling Ministries Network, to truly embody what God has taught us, to love one another with “ open hearts, open minds and open doors” by becoming a reconciling congregation.  

Let it further be resolved that by joining in this covenant to be a reconciling church, we will support the Reconciling Ministries Network with an annual donation of $250 to continue working to remove the hurtful and exclusive language in the Book of Discipline.

Therefore, together with the Church Council, the Reconciling Task Force will revisit the mission statement of CUMC and ensure that our mission statement is inclusive of all with verbiage that is specific to gender identification and sexual orientation.