Reconciling Ministries Network
Greetings in the name of Christ. Last night after 9 months of discussion, information meetings, and two weeks of voting, Newburg United Methodist Church chose to become a Reconciling Congregation and a part of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN). This was affirmed by a vote of 157 in favor, 12 against and 1 abstention or 92.4% of all ballots cast.
What does this mean? It means Newburg publicly affirms we are welcoming of LGBTQ persons into the full life of the church. It is a statement of disagreement with the current language and practice of the United Methodist Church. Therefore, it is a statement we hope see changed at General Conference of 2020. We will seek to find ways to welcome and support our LGBTQ members and friends through advocacy and action.
How does this effect our affiliation as a United Methodist Church? We are still, and intend to be a part of the United Methodist Church. We continue to be subject to the Book of Discipline. It is our hope for those who voted not to affiliate or have a different interpretation of Scripture along with the majority who voted for affiliation, that we will prayerfully grow together still as Disciples of Jesus Christ. We invite everyone to be in conversation, to listen to one another where we disagree as we all seek to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Our next steps will be formal recognition from RMN and the creation of an RMN ministry team, whose focus is seeking ways to advance the causes of full inclusion. This looks different for every church and Newburg will have to discern the best way forward as we live into our covenant.
Please be in prayer for our congregation at Newburg, for the United Methodist Church, and for our community as we continue to “Recognize Christ in Everyone” and specifically tell those of the LGBTQ community, all are welcome and loved here. If you have further questions I am always available to speak with you.
Peace and Prayers,
Rev. Steve McCoy