As our denomination continues to seek a "way forward" in our ongoing sense of division over full inclusion of our
LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters, there are a number of efforts underway in the life of our own New England Annual Conference to address our concerns both as laity and clergy about the direction the general church has taken.
Posted on this page going forward you will find updates and information about next steps following the actions of General Conference and the rulings of the Judicial Council. None of the items posted on this page is intended to speak for everyone
in our family of faith here at Cox Memorial UMC but is simply shared as signposts along the way on this journey.
What is true for our entire family of faith is that we are a welcoming congregation, open to all without exception and that we see each person as a child of God and of infinite worth and value and, to be fully included in the life of faith as expressed here in this
For both clergy and laity in our local United Methodist Churches we find ourselves wondering what this week's action by the General Conference might really mean for us. For us at Cox Memorial UMC, being a welcoming and inclusive congregation has never been at issue. And for most of us, ministry is largely defined at the local church level.
But this week, a "bell has been rung" at the denominational level that we cannot easily "un-ring" as local United Methodist pastors and congregations. No matter how welcoming and loving we will be toward all children of God, a message has been sent forth from the larger church that suggests our denominiation withholds full-inclusion from some of our brothers and sisters.
I believe it is critically important to note that the Traditional Plan passed by a narrow margin of only 54 Votes! But that data point has been lost in the headlines and the news reports. And, there is much yet to be decided about certain petitions included in the Traditional Plan as the Judicial Council (think highest court of the United Methodist Church) begins its final review.
Today, I believe we must remain focused on the mission and ministry to which Jesus Christ has called us as the Cox Memorial United Methodist Church in Hallowell, Maine. Today I believe we must proclaim boldly our love and acceptance of the richness and diversity of God's people. Today, I believe we must use every human interaction we have in the days and weeks ahead to show that all God's beloved children are of inifinte worth and value to us and to the church that we love.
This Sunday, March 3rd, we will gather at the Table of Grace to share in Communion. Is there someone from the Community you would like to invite to the Table?