On Tuesday, October 6, 2020, St. John UMC held a Church Conference vote on adoption of the Statement of Inclusion drafted by the Way Forward Task Force for the church. 124 total ballots were cast during the voting period which ended at 7:00 P.M. on October 7th. Results of the vote were as follows:
Votes to Adopt the Statement: 94
Votes to Not Adopt the Statement: 22
Irregular Ballots: 5
Members participating in conducting the vote: Sarah Thomas, Jeff Pullium, Stephanie Quattlebaum, Carol Capers, Sawyer Branham
Members tallying and verifying the vote count: Charles Piercy, Charles Dixon, Mark Barron
As a result of the vote, St. John UMC has adopted the Statement of Inclusion. The Way Forward Task Force thanks the members of St. John for their prayerful participation in this important decision for our church.
We believe the Christian story is one of radical inclusion and hospitality.
In this spirit, St. John United Methodist Church welcomes and accepts everyone to our community of believers. This welcome includes people of every race, ethnicity and national origin, age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability, faith history, family structure, marital status, educational background, and economic status. All are welcomed here. All are invited to be engaged in service here. All are loved here.
We believe that exclusion in any form is incompatible with Christ’s Gospel.
Currently, the Book of Discipline (the “rule book” of our denomination) excludes LGBTQ persons from being ordained as United Methodist clergy and prohibits United Methodist clergy from performing or celebrating samesex marriages. The members of St. John believe these are exclusionary practices. We are committed to following Christ’s example of breaking down all barriers limiting anyone from experiencing the love of God in Christian community. For that reason, as St. John continues to joyfully welcome LGBTQ members into the life of our church, we will also actively work to encourage changes to the Book of Discipline concerning the exclusion of LGBTQ persons from full participation in our denomination. It is our hope that the laws of the United Methodist Church will come to reflect God’s love toward every person created in God’s image.