We have a saying at FaithBridge that we often recite together before Holy Communion that goes like this, “Love that has limits is not love. We believe in love without limits.” By the recent General Conference decisions, the United Methodist Church has chosen to put limits on love.
It breaks my heart that our denomination has chosen to stand on the side of tradition and doctrine over inclusivity and love. My heart is also breaking for the LGBTQIA+ community who see this decision as a rejection of their personhood and self-worth. So on behalf of the UMC, I am sorry. I am grieving with you and for you. You have always been welcome at FaithBridge, and you always will be. Please know that regardless of any decision, you are a child of God and you are loved!
Long before our denomination’s General Conference, we discerned as a church that FaithBridge has a mission and vision from God that we are a church that exists to build a bridge of faith through Christ for those who are disconnected from church. And as such, we are called to do our best to love our community, feed those who are hungry, visit those who are sick and in prison, and welcome the stranger. To live out Jesus’s command to love God and love others to the best of our ability. As a local church, we have been doing this for 16 years and we will still be doing this tomorrow because it is what God has called us to do. The decisions of the General Conference don’t change this.
So there is hope. Because ultimately we believe in a God that showed us that love is stronger than death and that after death comes resurrection. We believe that God does some of God’s best work putting the pieces back together after destruction, making beautiful things out of the dust. To provide hope for the hopeless and making a way when it seems like there is no way.
Our future right now as a denomination might be blurry (and yes perhaps even a little dusty and hopeless). But our future as a local church is not. A new command I give you, says Jesus, to love each other just as I have loved you. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other (John 13:34-35).
Our denomination has made a decision, and so have I. I choose love. Without limits.