God In Love Unites Us: encouragement for LGBT+ Methodists
OneBodyOneFaith has warmly welcomed the report from the Methodist Church's Task Group on Marriage and Relationships, which will form the basis of discussions at Conference in June, and across the denomination. The Report represents the culmination of a signficant piece of work over recent years, and a much longer journey by the Methodist church as it seeks, in common with Christians across our churches, to remain faithful to the gospel at the same time as reflecting what we discern of Christ in a changing word.
This moment represents the increasing confidence and courage of LGB people as we become more able to speak of the love of God and the work of the Spirit in our lives and relationships. To that end, it is appropriate to acknowledge the prophetic voices of LGBT Methodists and groups such as Outcome and Dignity and Worth over the years in helping to shape attitudes and bring us to this point on our journey. There is still some distance to travel, but there should be thansgiving too for those who have made the path by walking it.
The report acknowledges the complexity and sensitiviy of the task and moves in the direciton of a 'mixed economy', where those who wish to conduct marriages for all couples are able to do so, but those who do not in conscience or by conviction feel able, are not compelled. OneBodyOneFaith welcomes this approach which seems to offer the most scope for flourishing and the movement of the Spirit, and ensure that no-one is either left behind, or cast aside.
Dignity and Worth, the group working for change and affirmation in the Methodist Church, has been praying for the process as it folds, and has issued this statement in response to the report. Further reflection will now take place at circuit level and within churches, and Dignity and Worth is keen to be part of resourcing those discussions. they have published 'The Case for Change', a booklet to assist groups and individuals in their relfections. Copies are available to download here. We warmly commend both the Report and resources to you, and look forward to working and praying with your Methodist friends as this important work continues.