Thank you to all who voted. And many thanks to the Reconciling Team that walked us through this process for the last 18 months. Your prayers, leadership, and work led us to this moment.
221 people participated:
- 81.4% voted “Yes”
- 16.7% voted “No”
- 1.8% were “Not sure”
What next? What does this mean? I’m relying on a passage from the Bible:
2 Corinthians 5:18 & 20: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us.” God has given us this ministry of reconciliation.
While this statement was written at a different time for a different situation, it also offers us a way forward.
God has given us a ministry of reconciliation, meaning the restoration of friendly relationships. We are to be a faith community that openly welcomes all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Church has struggled with this and in our Methodist Book of Discipline, we shun, rather than welcome the LGBTQ community.
While there is joy and celebration for many, please let us be aware that not everyone hoped for or voted for this result. Let us be attentive to those who find this news disappointing and scary. For Asbury is the church home for all of us, and we welcome all. Reconciliation starts here.
Going forward, we will form a new committee, and I hope you’ll attend and provide your input. A re-constituted Reconciling Team will hold its first meeting on Sunday, June 5, after worship. Marti Muldoon, our lay leader, will lead this meeting. The purpose of this gathering will be to consider how we live into being a reconciling church. Different churches do this in different ways. Some have statements on their website, some in the worship bulletin, some on the church sign. What is the right way for us to let the wider community know we are a safe and welcoming place? This committee will make recommendations to the Church Council, and Council will then vote on how we proceed
Please consider being part of this Reconciling Team. We need a wide variety of voices so that we live into this in a way that truly represents Asbury. If you intend to be part of this Team, please contact our lay leader Martie Muldoon, Pastor Chelsea, or Pastor Kim Risedorph.