As your pastors, we reach out our hands and hearts to you this day and week following the special General Conference. We recognize that people come with mixed feelings today; relieved, repulsed, disillusioned, confused, or simply exhausted. While the votes have been cast, the reflection, understanding and response to these decisions will take some time to discern. Assuredly, they will have lasting effects on our relationships and spiritual well-being. As we hold you in our prayers, we are committed to caring for you, your family and friends, and your life as a person of faith at Mountain View.
The facts: The international delegation at the 2019 General Conference voted for the Traditional Plan to be the way forward for the United Methodist Church. This plan continues to exclude LGBTQ+ clergy and same sex unions from the UMC, and adds penalties for disobeying the Book of Discipline. Meanwhile, the One Church Plan and Simple Plan were rejected. The Traditional Plan raises several constitutional questions which will now be reviewed by the Judicial Council in April.
As a global church, these decisions are celebrated by some and grieved by others. We do not yet know the full expression of the decisions of GC19, but we will continue to welcome everyone into Christian fellowship and Holy Communion with the Lord. Be assured that we will live out our commitment to be inclusive, welcoming and supportive of all, as we discover the words and expressions which best express our faith. At Mountain View we are committed to Building an Open and Vital community on the foundation of Christ.
In our reflection as a pastoral team, we recognize that God lives within human hearts, not church buildings, denominational decisions or religious institutions. God loves through God’s people, not in an organizational vote, blanket rules, or official policy. Unless God and goodness are in us, they cannot reside anywhere else. For no religious body, no matter how organized or haphazard, wise or foolish, is adequate to contain the love of God.
Again, we offer ourselves to you to process what has happened and humbly attempt to find ways to communicate to our friends and the world at large what is most important- each person is a beloved child of God. We continue in hope and prayer, trusting that God continues God’s work in us.
The Journey Continues,
Your Mountain View Pastoral Team