Dear brothers and sisters in Christ at SUMC,
Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus!
You may have heard that the Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church had voted for the Traditional Plan, which upholds the UMC’s current stance on homosexuality: “incompatible with Christian teaching.” But, that ruling is going to be viewed at the Judicial Council of the UMC at the end of April, because some parts of the Traditional Plan have been deemed “unconstitutional.”
It is reported that almost two thirds of U.S. delegates have supported the One Church Plan, which is more inclusive of LBGTQIA+ people. Therefore, I would say that we will have to wait and see what all this controversy may mean to our Suamico church.
I understand that neither the Traditional Plan nor the One Church Plan would satisfy 100% of our congregation. It is my personal belief that Jesus would welcome all kinds of people by saying, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden. I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) As Jesus accepts us as we are, we also need to accept people as they are.
The other night at our Adult Bible Study group, I heard a woman say, “When I had a serious health problem, our church folks prayed for me and supported me. Our church folks are like my second family.” As family in Christ, we don’t exclude or shun other family members. We invite and welcome all who want to be a part of God’s loving family in our church.
After many months of construction, our new sanctuary is about ready to become our new house of worship. On Palm Sunday, we will have our first Sunday service in our new sanctuary. Our new sanctuary will be a new place of worship, hymn singing, prayer, and fellowship for all people who love the Lord, our God. I want to thank our congregation, our Building Committee, and subcommittees, the Schuh Construction Company and contractors for their excellent job.
Our Suamico Methodist Church will remain as a church of Open Minds – Open Hearts – Open Doors.
Happy Easter to you all!
Your brother in Christ, Pastor Jerry