«

»

Jul 19

NEJ approves resolution committing to rights of all, including LGBT

By Kathy L. Gilbert

The Northeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church approved a resolution July 19 affirming its commitment to the rights of all persons including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.

The five jurisdictions of the church are meeting to elect bishops and conduct other business. The areas meet every four years after the denomination’s worldwide gathering. The Northeastern Jurisdiction includes the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“We offer it acknowledging the deep pain that exists in our church,” said the Rev. Scott Campbell, a clergy delegate from the New England Conference, who submitted the resolution. “It also recognizes the conflicting covenants that many of our pastors and church leaders experience in seeking to be faithful to their calling.”

The 2012 United Methodist General Conference, the top lawmaking body of the denomination, rejected changes to its law book that would have allowed LGBT persons to become ordained elders and to perform same-sex marriages. The General Conference met April 24-May 4 in Tampa, Fla.

The Northeastern resolution states, “Clergy, lay persons and congregations may feel bound by conscience to offer the ministries and sacraments of the church to all persons on an equal basis and that even though bound to the Book of Discipline, we are also bound by Jesus’s commandment to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed in our midst.”

The Rev. Larry Baird, Upper New York Conference delegate, said he had been in conversation with Campbell and others but opposed the resolution. “I believe this simply escalates the tension and escalates the battle,” he said.

The Rev. Mark Flynn of West Virginia said he believed the position the jurisdiction was asked to take was contradictory to the tradition of the denomination and Christian church as whole. He could support it “only if there is a clear scriptural argument for doing so.”

Shirley Readdean, an African-American lay woman from Upper New York, said the United Methodist quest for justice is what originally drew her to the denomination. She said she heard the same arguments when it came to race.

“I feel like I’m in a second go-round with the same issue: who’s in and who’s out,” she said. “This is a justice issue.”

The resolution was approved by 61 percent. More than 50 delegates and alternates had signed the petition before its presentation at the conference.

While the majority affirmation was enough to approve the resolution, the vote was still indicative of the continued division of the church on this issue. By the end of the break after the vote, a group identifying itself as the Northeast Jurisdiction Evangelical Connection (NEJEC) expressed its disappointment in the decision by distributing a short statement outside of the conference proceedings. The statement included a reminder that “the position of The United Methodist Church on human sexuality has not changed.”

 

Information for this report was provided by Alexx Wood, director of communications, New England Annual Conference.

 

2 comments

3 pings

  1. Bonnie Lee Harley

    I applaude the recent resolution by the NEJ. In reply to The Rev. Mark Flynn’s statement that the NEJ’s recent resolution to extend rights to LGBT was “contradictory to the tradition of the denomination and Christian church,” I would like to lift up the thought that traditions are fluid, and not necessarily blessed by God. One might say even Christ seemed to break some traditions as he spoke with the woman at the well, or when he dined with those not acceptable to the Pharisees. As far as the Christian Church – if the Church is to follow Christ’s model then I feel this resolution is on target.

    Who are we to dictate that only heterosexuals can be “help mates” one to the other? As our church sign board read recently, “Live to Love / Love to Live.” God is my Judge, not any man (or woman). My nagging concern is not for the danger that my gay friends, colleagues, relatives, and neighbors might have a loving monogamous lifestyle.

    My nagging concern is for the real dangers in our midst:
    • extreme and growing poverty (even in the Northeast)
    • unjustified incarceration
    • exploitive, unconscionable corporate practices
    • fear and misunderstanding

    My concern here is that bigotry and misunderstanding are looming above (and possibly obliterating) our overall Christian mission.

    In reference to The Rev. Larry Baird’s comment that the recent resolution “simply escalates the tension and escalates the battle,” as the niece of now deceased, Bishop Melvin E. Wheatley, I see this not as a battle, but a justice issue, as well as a Agape’ concern. I am proud that our Jurisdiction has had the courage to stand by our brothers and sisters in Christ, and I can now encourage my LGBT friends, relative, neighbors, church members, and clergy that yes, some more, if not yet all, United Methodists officially welcome them into Christ’s fellowship as equals.
    Bonnie Lee Harley, Lay Leader and lifelong United Methodist

  2. d

    “Who are we to dictate that only heterosexuals can be “help mates” one to the other? As our church sign board read recently, “Live to Love / Love to Live.” God is my Judge, not any man (or woman). My nagging concern is not for the danger that my gay friends, colleagues, relatives, and neighbors might have a loving monogamous lifestyle. ”

    God dictates who “helpmates are”.
    God may be your judge outside of the church but inside the church it is man that judges and makes the decisions.
    That is clear from scripture.
    It is clear the helpmate God provided was the female with the male exclusively.
    It is clear from scripture decisions and judgements are to be preformed by the leaders of the church inside the church.

    1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? [NIV: What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?]
    13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

    (1) General Causes: Disorderly conduct, conduct clearly out of line with the prescribed commands of Scripture and which negatively impacts the testimony and unity of the church (2 Thess. 3:6-15).

    (2) Specific Causes:

    •Difficulties between members (Matt. 18:15-17).
    •Divisive or factious people causing divisions in the church (Rom. 16:17-18; Titus 3:9-11).
    •Immoral conduct; sins of the type mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5 such as incest, immorality, covetousness, idolatry, abusive speech, drunkenness, swindling, or idle busybodies who refuse to work and run around spreading dissension (1 Cor. 5:1, 11; 2 Thess. 3:10-15).
    •False teaching; erroneous teaching and views which concern the fundamentals of the faith and not lesser differences of interpretation (1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 2:17-18; also implied in Rev. 2:14-16; Phil. 3:2-3, 15-19; Rom. 16:17-18).
    http://bible.org/article/church-discipline

  1. Northeastern Jurisdiction approves resolution committing to rights of all, including LGBT | do no harm iowa

    [...] Read the entire article from the United Methodist News Service Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this. This entry was posted in News by donoharmiowa. Bookmark the permalink. Theme: Twenty Eleven | Blog at WordPress.com. var _qevents = _qevents || [], wpcomQuantcastData = {"qacct":"p-18-mFEk4J448M","labels":",language.en,type.wpcom"}; function wpcomQuantcastPixel( labels, options ) { var i, defaults = wpcomQuantcastData, data = { event: 'ajax' }; labels = labels || ''; options = options || {}; if ( typeof labels != 'string' ) options = labels; for ( i in defaults ) { data[i] = defaults[i]; } for ( i in options ) { data[i] = options[i]; } if ( data.labels ) { data.labels += ',' + labels; } else { data.labels = labels; } _qevents.push( data ); }; (function() {var elem = document.createElement('script');elem.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https://secure" : "http://edge&quot ;) + ".quantserve.com/quant.js";elem.async = true;elem.type = "text/javascript";var scpt = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];scpt.parentNode.insertBefore(elem, scpt); })(); _qevents.push( wpcomQuantcastData ); /* */ WPCOM_sharing_counts = {'http://donoharmiowa.org/2012/07/19/northeastern-jurisdiction-approves-resolution-committing-to-rights-of-all-including-lgbt/':'494'}; /* */ jQuery(document).ready(function($){ Gravatar.profile_cb = function( h, d ) { WPGroHo.syncProfileData( h, d ); }; Gravatar.my_hash = WPGroHo.my_hash; Gravatar.init( 'body', '#wp-admin-bar-my-account' ); }); .reblog-from img { margin: 0 10px 0 0; vertical-align: middle; padding: 0; border: 0; } .reblogger-note img.avatar { float: left; padding: 0; border: 0; } .reblogger-note-content { margin: 0 0 20px; } .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt-content { border-left: 3px solid #eee; padding-left: 15px; } .reblog-post ul.thumb-list { display: block; list-style: none; margin: 2px 0; padding: 0; clear: both; } .reblog-post ul.thumb-list li { display: inline; margin: 0; padding: 0 1px; border: 0; } .reblog-post ul.thumb-list li a { margin: 0; padding: 0; border: 0; } .reblog-post ul.thumb-list li img { margin: 0; padding: 0; border: 0; } .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt { clear: both; } .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt address, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt li, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt h1, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt h2, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt h3, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt h4, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt h5, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt h6, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt p { font-size: 100% !important; } .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt blockquote, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt pre, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt code, .reblog-post .wpcom-enhanced-excerpt q { font-size: 98% !important; } Follow [...]

  2. PNWUMC @ #WJUMC – UMNS: Western Jurisdiction: Gay issue stand wrong

    [...] The Northeastern Jurisdiction also affirmed its commitment to the rights of all persons at its 2012 meet…. In a resolution, the jurisdiction stated, “Clergy, lay persons and congregations may feel bound by conscience to offer the ministries and sacraments of the church to all persons on an equal basis and that even though bound to the Book of Discipline, we are also bound by Jesus’ commandment to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed in our midst.” [...]

  3. Pacific Northwest UMC News Blog – UMNS: Same-sex unions gain support in U.S. elections

    [...] The Northeastern Jurisdiction also affirmed its commitment to the rights of all persons at its 2012 meet…. In a resolution, the jurisdiction stated, “Clergy, lay persons and congregations may feel bound by conscience to offer the ministries and sacraments of the church to all persons on an equal basis and that even though bound to the Book of Discipline, we are also bound by Jesus’ commandment to stand with the marginalized and the oppressed in our midst.” [...]

Comments have been disabled.