The United Methodist General Conference will meet for two weeks this spring to worship, discuss, debate, celebrate, and vote on issues affecting the global church. This global gathering happens once every four years, and it is the only time when the denomination's Book of Discipline and Book of Resolutions can be changed.
One of the issues that will be near to the hearts of many people at University UMC is winning full LGBTQ rights. Currently, The United Methodist Church discriminates against gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons by not allowing clergy to conduct same-sex unions, by allowing and by refusing to ordain "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" (meaning that gay and lesbian clergy have to remain single or closeted --- although the exact definitions of "self-avowed" and practicing" are regularly argued in church courts).
This official stance of the United Methodist Church as a whole differs greatly from the beliefs of many of our members and friends here at University UMC. Over 20 folks from University UMC have signed this open letter of support for LGBT policy changes at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference. If you support the LGBTQ community and their place in the church, I invite you to sign (and invite other Missouri United Methodists to sign) as well.
This letter and its signatories will be given to the Missouri delegation to General Conference: http://lgbtcommunity.church/open-letter/
You can learn more about the upcoming LGBTQI discussions and debates from the news source United Methodist Insight: "Setting the Stage for General Conference 2016" and "Preview to General Conference Debate on Homosexuality."
May we draw the circle wide--- draw it wider still!