Dear Trietsch Family,
Greetings in the name of Christ our Lord! I want to share with you information from the specially called session of the global General Conference of The United Methodist Church which has just completed its session to address matters of ordination and marriage of persons within the LGBTQ community.
The General Conference approved the Traditional Plan (maintain existing prohibitions and enforcing more stringent penalties). The vote was split 53% to 47%. This final vote came after the other major plan, the One Church Plan (offering options to churches and annual conferences), failed by the same margin. This all indicates that the Church is deeply divided on this issue.
Additionally, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about the constitutionality of the approved Plan. Prior to the final vote, a decision of the Judicial Council (the “supreme court” of The UMC) declared that multiple components of the Plan were unconstitutional. After passage of the plan, delegates voted to send the entire plan back to the Judicial Council for another review. No piece of legislation that the Judicial Council declares unconstitutional will be included in the Book of Discipline. No implementation of the plan that was approved will take place unless it is ruled to uphold the constitution of The UMC. No plan would be implemented prior to January 2020.
I want you to know what this means for Trietsch Memorial UMC. As I mentioned at our annual Charge Conference meeting in December, no matter what decision is reached by the General Conference, our church will continue to “lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.” And we will continue to hold firm to our core values of Radical Love, Servant Ministry and Biblical Relevance. This means that by the command of Jesus, we are to love all and welcome all. We want all people to know that they are made in the image of God and are loved by God. Trietsch will remain a safe place for any person seeking to be loved by God. The local church is and has always been where real ministry happens and has efficacy. Your local church is committed to the cause of Christ for all people.
Friends, I or any of our clergy, are more than willing to visit with each of you that may have questions or concerns regarding this decision of The UMC. We are in prayer for our denomination and our church as we continue to seek to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. I look forward to being with you and the friend you invite to worship this Sunday as we celebrate the radical love of Jesus.
Grace and Peace,