Photo: SUMC choir members participate in the combined choir singing at Calvary United Methodist Church during A Space to Hope, a healing service organized by the Western Pennsylvania Reconciling Ministries Network in response to the General Conference outcome.
A Response from Our Pastor
The Apostle Paul conveyed to the church at Corinth, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” The Body of Christ at Sewickley United Methodist Church is suffering with our LGBTQI+ brothers and sisters as a result of the outcome of the United Methodist General Conference where the Traditional Plan was passed, continuing the brutal, unconscionable and sinful oppression of a very vital part of our church family. Anti-LGBTQI+ discrimination has caused irreparable harm to countless families, communities and churches. The church continues to inflict deep injustices upon God’s beloved.
We weep with the Living Christ that many view sexual orientation as an issue to be debated, solved and resolved. We affirm that sexual orientation is not an issue, but a gift from God and that ALL are beloved children of God.
It is my conviction that the Book of Discipline is inconsistent within itself.
We are called to inclusiveness, as described in paragraph 140, which states:
“Inclusiveness means openness, acceptance, and support that enable all persons to participate in the life of the Church, the community, and the world; therefore, inclusiveness denies every semblance of discrimination.”
“The mark of an inclusive society is one in which all persons are open, welcoming, fully accepting, and supporting of all other persons, enabling them to participate fully in the life of the church, the community and the world.”
“In the United Methodist Church inclusiveness means the freedom for the total involvement of all persons.”
The Apostle Paul affirms in Galatians 3:28; “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are one in Christ Jesus.” We at the Sewickley United Methodist Church continue to celebrate our “ONENESS.”
God welcomes ALL! Therefore, we welcome all, including those of all races, cultures, or nationalities; those of all sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, or relationship statuses; those of all ages, whether babies, children, adults, or those with more life experience. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything else that too often divides us.
We recognize that there are differences among us, but believe that although we may not think alike, we can love alike. We especially proclaim this statement of welcome to any who have known the pain of exclusion or discrimination in church or society. As the body of Christ, we invite everyone to join us on this journey of reconciliation toward greater love, understanding, and mutual respect.
We remain committed to our mission of the full inclusion of God’s LGBTQI+ children in the life of the church.
A Response from Our Youth
We were shocked and saddened to hear of the recent vote during the special General Conference of the United Methodist Church. Many of us lost faith in the leadership of our denomination, and we were ready to leave our church. The most important part of religion is love, and we believe that our God loves everyone. He made everyone in His image, and He doesn’t make mistakes. We also believe that no person has the right to limit God’s love. You can worship however you choose, but you shouldn’t judge others because of whom they love. We hope to see the United Methodist Church live out their promise of Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors – WITHOUT EXCEPTIONS, especially for our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ+ community. We will show our love to the people hurt by this decision and shamelessly stand up for what we believe. We hope to see other United Methodists standing with us.