Author: Rev. Dr. Mark R. Holland, Executive Director, Mainstream UMC
Sunday was a tough day. In prioritizing the plans, the Traditional Plan came out on top with 56% and the One Church Plan had 49%. The difference is 56 votes out of 864. We need to swing 30 votes to defeat the mean-spirited Traditional Plan that would certify, punish, and evict all who disagree. We need those 30 votes to create a church that is open to all.
Tomorrow we begin the long legislative day to try and defeat the Traditional Plan. It is unbelievable that this only affects the U.S. church and the U.S. church wants the One Church Plan 2 to 1 over the Traditional Plan. Two-thirds of the U.S. church gets hurt. The One Church Plan would have passed 12 years ago if this were a U.S. only vote. Very troubling.
The good news is we have never been this close in 40 years. The good news is that the U.S. church is not going to roll over and say, “OK, no more LGBTQ persons in our churches.” The good news is that we have organized and mobilized and built a coalition that will not go away. The good news is the struggle over LGBTQ inclusion is already on the way to being won outside the walls of the U.S. church. Regardless of how this vote plays out. We are moving in the right direction.
It took a civil war to end slavery in the Southern Methodist Church. It took 36 years after women received the vote in the U.S. before they were ordained in the Methodist Church. It was 12 years after Brown vs. the Board of Education that the U.M.C. finally desegregated. We are once again, behind the times but moving in the right direction. Mercy it has been more than 40 years.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fond of saying, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it always bends towards justice.”
We have two more days. God is Good. All the Time. Keep praying church.