As you no doubt know, the special called General Conference to deal with issues related to human sexuality and more specifically homosexuality ended on Tuesday. On Wednesday I sent the following letter to the Congregation, but for those of you who did not see it, I also wanted to include it here.
DUMC is a very diverse congregation and coming to St. Louis last Saturday for the General Conference, I knew that no matter which position the General Conference took related to these matters, there would be those in our Church that would be disappointed, hurt, angry, frustrated, and feel the Church had failed them. There would be others that would feel the Church had done it’s work and would be pleased with the decision. It was going to be in the truest sense of the word, a “no-win” situation.
As the votes were being taken and the decisions were being reached, in my mind’s eye, I saw your faces and I wanted to reach out to each of you. I thought of things I wanted to say and conversations I wanted to share. Obviously, that was not possible, but in short, here are just a few of the things that were in my mind.
To those of you who feel hurt and abandoned by the Church, I want you to know that I care deeply. I do not pretend to know what some of you are feeling, but I want you to know that you matter. You matter to me. You matter to Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Most of all, you matter to Jesus Christ. The decisions made at General Conference cannot change any of those things.
To those of you who are pleased with the decision, I would remind you that the decisions made at General Conference are a source of deep pain to some of our brothers and sisters in this Congregation and we are called by Christ to be servants and help heal wounds during this time of pain. The picture of Jesus that is most often presented in the New Testament is the picture of a loving servant who gave his life for others and to be a follower of Christ is to do the same.
To all of us, I would encourage us to remember that the work of Christ continues. This Sunday, we will worship in the Chapel and in the Sanctuary, Sunday School Classes will meet to grow in grace and learn about the faith, and the youth will gather to learn about Jesus.
In the days ahead, we will be engaged in missions to the poor and marginalized, and we will seek to be a place where all are to be welcomed and loved. We will continue to build Habitat for Humanity houses, package meals for Foodstock, engage in a Great Day of Service, feed the hungry, and care for sick. We will continue to have Children’s Ministries, Confirmation Classes, and ministries to our Senior Adults. The decisions reached at General Conference will not change any of these things.
Finally, for those that are interested, I invite you to join me at 3:00 p.m. in our Sanctuary this Sunday afternoon for a more detailed report of General Conference and some of the specifics of the decisions reached.