Jesus did not say, “This is my commandment, that you love a few people like yourselves.” Or that you love the people you think are worthy, the most famous, or the wealthiest, or whatever criteria you use to cut out the rest of humanity.” That’s not what Jesus meant by love at all!
Within our United Methodist Church, there is a new, non-clergy (what we call laity) movement which declares that enough is enough when it comes to discriminating against gays, lesbians and others. This group has publicly committed to a declaration of inclusion, which reads:
“We… declare that no one will be denied the services of our church because of sexual orientation. This includes the use of our property for same-sex marriages and holy unions.”
“This action is in accordance with the United Methodist Book of Discipline which states… “We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God.” [And that] “All persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status or sexual orientation are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured…. “We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends….””
“Therefore, we commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons because we understand that each individual is of sacred worth. We do this in a spirit of biblical obedience as we practice the radical hospitality of Jesus Christ.” (For more information see Declare Inclusion UMC!)
And what’s the news in this you ask? Glory, glory hallelujah, on Feb. 9th our Leadership Circle voted unanimously for us to become part of this movement! This is an historic and significant commitment on the part of our church, and an important step in the right direction.
Let us pray that our international and national church comes to understand that all really means all, and that we move quickly towards full inclusion and acceptance of LGBTQ people. And may we the people of Watsonville First United Methodist Church continue to courageously support love in action for all people!