IPMN Responds to Recent Methodist Vote Against LGBTQI+ Community
March 8, 2019 — The recent vote by the United Methodist Church (UMC) against LGBTQI+ Community brings to mind a verse in the hymn “They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love”:
We will work with each other
We will work side by side
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity
And save each one’s pride...
We grieve with our United Methodists friends whose dignity and pride is once more under attack by their church. No change was made in The Book of Discipline. The list of those who are welcome includes almost every marginalized group except LGBTQI+. It still reads: “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” (Para. 304.3)
We also grieve with all LGBTQI+ people everywhere, whether Christian or not, whose very lives may be threatened and whose wounds of rejection are reopened by yet another homophobic decision on the part of a large and prestigious Christian denomination.
We confess that until only recently, our own denomination maintained a similar standard of discrimination for decades, creating for many people and their families a purgatory of silence, fear and shame. As advocates for the human rights of the Palestinian people who have been fighting for their rights for the better part of a century, we know full well about a community living with suffering and indignity. Just as we support Palestinian rights, the Movement for Black Lives, and stand against racism and hate, we support equality and full rights for the LGBTQI+ Community. It is past time for the whole Church to show the love of Jesus Christ to this beloved community, rather than push them out and away.
In a week in which the US House of Representatives found it necessary to formally condemn all forms of hatred and bigotry, we find it tragic to have to issue a statement of solidarity for a struggle that the nation has already passed a tipping point on, and on which the Supreme Court has come down on the side of equal rights. The LGBTQI+ community is no stranger to long and tough battles and they/we will prevail. Until then, we pledge to stand by in solidarity, in grief and in struggle.
The Israel Palestine Mission Network
of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Read March 4, 2019 statement
Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
We pray that we are a witness to all who are rejected by the world, that God’s loving arms are wide open to receive and to bless. We follow the example of Jesus in standing with those who are hurting, marginalized, and oppressed. We will continue to work for a world in which all are safe and have space to live the divine dreams for their lives. No fear of loss should prevent us from reaching out in love to a hurting world.