Posted by: Rev. Dr. Mark Holland, Executive Director, Mainstream UMC
One of our favorite carols says the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year.” They are certainly the most amplified. The first holiday with a newborn baby is more magical than ever. The first holiday without a loved one is harder than ever. Whatever we are experiencing in life, the holidays can make it more intense, for better and for worse. As people with faith in Christ, we hold the tension of celebration and grief in the same heart, at the same time.
This is certainly true this year for those of us who seek full inclusion of LGBTQ clergy and allies in the United Methodist Church. The pain of General Conference 2019 is still palpably present. The pain of the full force of the Traditional Plan looms on the immediate horizon. So much unnecessary harm to so many kind, loving brothers and sisters in Christ. Our hearts are broken. The holidays are here. This week is Thanksgiving. Christmas is just around the corner.
At Mainstream UMC, we will be focusing on just a few things as we move into the holidays. We will continue to press for a moratorium on complaints, charges, and trials for LGBTQ clergy and for clergy who perform same-gender weddings. For the sake of those whose ministry and livelihood are being so crassly threatened, we cannot take off the five weeks until January 1. The traditional plan only takes effect in the United States. It is delayed a year around the world. Our US Bishops need to hear from us, and they need to step up in each US Jurisdiction to stop the harm.
We will also be asking you to put this struggle for justice on your Christmas shopping list. Advocacy requires resources and at Mainstream UMC we take our responsibility seriously. We know the “Traditional” advocacy groups are well funded and well staffed. We are undaunted by the challenge. Mainstream UMC supported a delegation to the Philippines this month to find common ground. We plan to visit again as well as visit delegates in Africa before the next General Conference. We want to join with the Central Conference delegates to create a regional conference in the US that allows us to remain in ministry together, and to have a balanced governance structure. We will need your help to make that a reality.
Before you settle in for Turkey and Pie, please call your bishop…again! We need a moratorium on these trials. And, please consider a contribution to Mainstream UMC. Thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving in Christ,
To support our advocacy work, please go to: https://mainstreamumc.com/donate/ Thank you.
To contact the Bishops about a moratorium, here are four steps.
Please Note: If you have previously signed the letter to the bishops, you do not need to sign it again. But please call or email your Bishop again. The message has not been heard!
- If you have not previously done so, please click here to read and sign this letter to the bishops: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UMC_Moratorium2
- Please forward this email to everyone in your congregation and on your United Methodist contact list. We have only a few weeks before the Traditional Plan takes effect in the United States! Our strength is in our numbers.
- Please call or email your bishop today at your annual conference office asking him or her to please support this moratorium. If you are not sure how to contact your bishop, click here http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/annual-conferences-directory. This will link you to your annual conference website where you can find your bishop’s phone number and email.
- Please ask your congregation to pray for a moratorium during worship.
If any of the above links do not work, please copy and paste them directly into your browser. Thank you.