Members and friends of St. Andrew By-The-Sea are invited to an all-church picnic on Sunday, August 11 at Bluffton’s Oyster Factory Park. The event will include a blessing for students and teachers as they return to school. Watch for more info on times and other details soon.
The 2019 meeting of the United Methodist General Conference concluded Feb. 26 in St. Louis. The purpose of this special called session was to make a choice as to how the United Methodist Church would relate to matters of full inclusion for members of the LGBTQ community in the life and ministry of our fellowship.
Despite the best efforts of well-meaning leaders on several sides
of this issue, the discussion, particularly on the final day, was
tense, tearful and sometimes acrimonious. To quote the book of Acts
regarding a similar church conference early in our history: “there was
no small discussion.”
The decision to support the
Traditional Plan, which maintains prohibitions for marriage and
ordination of homosexuals, left some deeply disappointed and others
jubilant. There is still much to learn regarding how this decision
will effect the life of the church. There will be ongoing discussions
as to how the United Methodist denomination will incorporate the spirit
of this choice, including a review of some of the aspects of this plan
by our church courts.
As pastor of St. Andrew By-The-Sea, I
simply want us to be reminded of the opening words of our local
church’s mission statement. “We are an open, nurturing body of
Christian believers…” There is room in our church for people of
every age, color, and orientation. No matter who we are, where we are
from, what we’ve done, we all stand in need of the grace and mercy that
God alone can supply. I can promise you that it is my intention at
every meeting, in every prayer, in every mission effort and every
worship service and sermon to make that love as real and available as
possible. I would also say that your church needs you now more than
ever before as we pursue the calling of Christ throughout the low
country and the world.
I do not know where the Spirit might
lead in this matter, but I am firmly convinced we will be a church for
all people and that within the arms of our fellowship, people will find
true acceptance and love.
Your family will be waiting to see you this Sunday.