By Kimberly Woods
Here we are.
Once again, the people called United Methodist finds ourselves at a crossroads. We are called together for a special session of General Conference to discuss matters relating to human sexuality.
Lately, I, as have many other delegates, have been inundated with calls, letters, and emails. I have received personal testimonies, theology, and even threats, though not of a violent nature. This is a divisive discussion, to say the least.
One common thread throughout it all: passion. People are passionate about the subject of human sexuality, scripture, and everything in between.
I arrived in St. Louis this afternoon & walking in the brisk air past the Arch gave me pause. I realized, not for the first time but perhaps with more clarity, just how much weight we are carrying. These decisions, whatever we may do, affect countless lives. Our votes, our discussions, impact individuals, groups, local churches, and our entire denomination going forward. As I walked past homeless persons, construction workers, and those gathered for sporting events & our own conference, it reminded me of the focus of this entire event.
Whatever plan we pass will change the United Methodist Church in some way. People may leave. People may mourn. And the body of Christ that is called United Methodist will not be the same, no matter what we decide here. Because if we look and act the exact same after this conference as we are now, arguing about interpretations of scripture while hiding behind screens or ink & paper, the definition of marriage versus a definition of love, and sneering across aisles at our siblings, our family in Christ, then we will have failed.
No matter what, we need to be the church not just presently, but the day after GC 2019 closes. We need to continue to make disciples. Continue in our mission. How we go about that, what we will look like, at this point, no one can say.
What I can say is that our day of worship & prayer tomorrow will be a necessary calling on the Holy Spirit. We will move forward with hearts of peace and whatever happens, at the end of these four days, know that I still will be ready to see what God has in store.
St. Louis, history has its eyes on you.