I am working on a clean summary of what happened at the General Conference on the Way Forward.
The “Traditional Plan” won. That keeps the Book of Discipline language against gay marriage and ordination of gays, while greatly increasing the penalties. Every Jurisdiction, Conference, Bishop, and Pastor must sign an oath that they will uphold 3 sentences in the Book of Discipline, or else they will be removed from the United Methodist Church. LGBT pastors will lose their UMC ordination.
That means that if the plan stands up to our Judicial Council (think Supreme Court) then we will belong to a Jurisdiction and Conference that will be removed from the UMC. If that happens, we will most likely form a Methodist Church that is basically the same, except for the removal of the 3 statements against homosexuality.
We are still followers of Jesus Christ and everyone is still welcome at Hope UMC. We have not changed, though our future institutional structure will change.
I grieve this moment and commit myself to the love, integrity, and faithfulness of Jesus Christ, who loves us all. We are the church, the body of Christ, dedicated to following Jesus, making disciples, and transforming the world.
Please pray for us all, and most of all for the mission of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Brian Kent