A recent Advocate article concerning one of our congregations offers an opportunity to clarify what The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (2012 edition) says about human sexuality. It is clear in its stance. While affirming that all persons are people of sacred worth and that God’s Grace is available to all, the United Methodist Church (UMC) does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers it not compatible with Christian teaching (¶161f). Furthermore, we are reminded that the leaders in our congregations be persons of Christian character, discipline, commitment, as well as loyal to the ethical standards of the UMC as set forth in our Social Principles (¶244.3). It is obvious that the discussion concerning homosexuality is one of our more divisive issues. It captivates our attention and dominates our conversations as well as making it difficult to focus on the mission and ministry of the church. As we seek to live together in Christian community, let us always remember that God calls us to be in a faithful ministry with all persons through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Grace and Peace,
L. Jonathan Holston