Back in March, we began a church-wide conversation in response to the actions of the 2019 General Conference (global law-making body of the United Methodist Church). That hour did not even scratch the surface of what Church Council knows are necessary conversations in the life of our congregation. We want to invite you to set aside some time in the month of September for digging deeper. We will begin with a session after church on Sunday Sept 8, and then will meet during the Sunday School hour (beginning at 9:30 and meeting each week from Sept 15-Oct 13).
Our first session on Sept 8th will include an opportunity for those in attendance to tell us what you need in order to feel loved and heard, and respected, and like a sibling who belongs to us and belongs with us, and to feel prepared for the ongoing conversation in our denomination on how and if and to what extent siblings of various sexual orientations and gender identities will be incorporated in the life of the church.
And as hard as these conversations can be, particularly among beloved friends with whom we may disagree, they also have the power to drive deep spiritual growth. There is value in learning to articulate how we read and understand the Holy Scriptures. There is value in discerning which are essential tenets of our faith where we cannot bear differences, and which are non-essentials in which we can live together in diversity.
There is value in learning to listen with empathy to another’s perspective, and in growing the skill of telling the story of God at work in our own lives. I believe in the capacity of this church to be vulnerable, and compassionate, and passionate, and to do no harm, to do good, and to stay in love with God, and I look forward to our time together. May it strengthen us as a community committed to loving God and neighbor as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Amanda Baker
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Nashville, TN 37203-0029
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