Third in a series on local reaction to the Traditional Plan, approved last week by the Methodist General Conference
Pride flags continue to fly at Methodist churches across North Dallas and elsewhere to show anger at the passage of the Traditional Plan at the Methodist church’s General Conference that imposed new sanctions on pastors who perform same-sex marriages or allow them to take place in their churches and forbidding ordination of LGBT clergy.
“There’s power in numbers,” said the Rev. Judith Reedy, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church on Junius Street in East Dallas. Grace is one of eight reconciling congregations in the Dallas area. She said rainbow tape over the sign at Grace makes it clear where her church stands.
Reedy said she returned from the conference “heartbroken,” but knows from the reaction she’s seen around the diocese that support for the inclusion of the LGBT community comes from more than just the reconciling congregations. “We’ve got a lot of people outraged,” she said.
Reedy said passage of the discriminatory plan doesn’t represent the U.S. church. “We’re coalescing with a lot of churches,” she said. “Centrist churches are joining us.”
She said that what supporters of the Traditional Plan are doing “not scriptural.”
Reedy said a group is pushing for passage of the failed One Church Plan “in a different way,” but that they weren’t willing to wait another year for another conference; something needs to be done much sooner than that.
“The horror of this is I’m in the middle of all these beautiful people,” she said. “To see that many people hurt and to see other people don’t get that, hurts me.”
Other congregations have weighed in through their signs, Facebook page photos and messages and sermons.
On its Facebook page, Lovers Lane United Methodist Church wrote, “To ALL of our members, visitors and guests: Lovers Lane UMC remains 100% committed to our Mission of Loving ALL people into relationship with Jesus Christ.”
St. Stephens UMC in Mesquite, covered “United Methodist” on its sign in rainbow tape. It’s sign includes the rainbow emblem of Reconciling Ministries Network and the church’s slogan is “Sharing God’s Unconditional Love for All.”
United Methodist Church of Preston Hollow’s electronic sign is carrying the message “Love: No Exceptions,” written over a rainbow flag.
First United Methodist Church in Downtown Dallas replaced its Facebook cover photo with one that reads: “There’s a seat at the table for ALL.”
Oak Lawn UMC replaced its cover photo with one from Pride showing hundreds of people in front of the church, many carrying rainbow flags. The Rev. Rachel Baughman, the church’s pastor, posted a video of her Sunday sermon entitled “Sacred Resistance,” which she delivered while surrounded by members wearing rainbow stoles.
“I feel like I’ve been betrayed,” she said during her sermon.
— David Taffet