You are welcome here!
Rockbrook United Methodist Church Position Statement on Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
There have been many times in the history of the United Methodist Church when differences have arisen in the discourse of holy debate surrounding matters of faith. Indeed, the United Methodist Church was founded out of schisms and reunions in the foundations of doctrine. Rockbrook United Methodist Church recognizes that we have come to another such crossroads in the discussions surrounding and the decisions made with respect to the inclusion of the LGBTQ community of believers in the life of the church. Further, it has become clear that decisions made by the 2019 Special General Conference have led to considerable divisiveness, which the membership of Rockbrook UMC finds unfortunate and requires response. In this spirit, we have found it necessary as a church to discuss and to declare our position as it pertains to the issue of human sexuality.
In as much as we would dare to declare our corporate position in this matter, we recognize the self-determining nature of the faith as provided in the Judeo-Christian Bible. Each member of the church must embark on an individual course of discovery to determine for themselves what they will believe. We recognize that by no means does any statement of the faith represent the position of every valued member of the church, but given the nature of the present debate, we affirm that the majority of our membership find it necessary to declare our sentiments on these issues.
First, we find that the position that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” is contrary to our understanding of the teaching of Jesus who called us to follow two tenets, to first love God and then to love one another. We believe these to be inclusive rather than exclusive commandments. We believe all of God’s creation is holy and the exclusion of any part is to deny the fullness of creation. So long as one professes the Christian faith, all peoples are welcomed at Rockbrook United Methodist Church to worship with us. Further, we affirm and welcome openness and understanding of all points of view, including any who would disagree with this majority position.
Second, we believe that avowed members of the LGBTQ community already serve in ministry at many levels in the United Methodist Church. Whether as Bible Study leaders, Sunday School teachers, committee members, Lay ministers and speakers or as clergy, seekers of the divine truth permeate the church from many different orientations of faith as well as sexuality. Anyone who would profess the teachings of Jesus and would be willing to serve in the ministry with humility and grace would be welcomed as an example of the faith for the members of the church to follow, including in the ordained ministry.
Third, the marriage union between two people who are committed to one another in a loving and monogamous relationship should be honored and endorsed. This includes the union between two people who are of genetically the same sex. Further, the ordained clergy of the United Methodist Church should be allowed to preside over such ceremonies without threat to ministerial credentials within the United Methodist Church.
Finally, we find the suggested penalties to the clergy who would violate the rules of the Discipline on same sex marriage to be incompatible with the Wesleyan tradition and the openness of the United Methodist Church. While there must be serious consequences to undermining the doctrine of the church, other, arguably more egregious breaches of the faith are often met with more understanding. The ministry in the United Methodist Church suffers from significant attrition of available clergy to fill open charges such that depriving the church of capable leadership in the pulpit seems to be contradictory.
In general, we find that the current position as stated by the actions of the 2019 Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church to be contrary to the manner in which we choose to express our faith in the one God through the example set by Jesus Christ. Rockbrook United Methodist Church hereby affirms that any person who wishes to profess the Christian faith is welcome to worship with and among us, to serve us in ministry in any form, and to live freely in any manner to which God has called them.
Passed by Rockbrook UMC Church Council on September 30, 2019
Affirmed by the Congregation on October 13, 2019 (92 For, 18 Against, 1 Abstention)