Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
As many of you know the 2019 Special Session of General Conference has completed its work. Eight hundred and sixty-four United Methodist delegates from across the United States, Africa,
Europe and Philippines met in St. Louis from Feb. 24-26 to consider paragraphs of The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and ministry to LGBTQIA+ persons.
The General Conference voted against the One Church Plan recommended by the majority of our church’s bishops. The General Conference instead passed the Traditional Plan, which
maintains the denomination’s ban on same-sex marriage and prohibition on the ordination of self-avowed practicing homosexuals with additional accountability for enforcing those policies.
The constitutionality of key points within the Traditional Plan has been called into question and will be reviewed by the Judicial Council in April.
Pastor Ran and I are grateful for the prayers of all of you for our churches and our delegates. Some of you may be pleased or relieved by the decisions made by the conference while others are in deep pain and anguish. Pastor Ran and I particularly want to acknowledge the pain this has caused our LGBTQIA+ communities along with their families and loved ones. Please know that all of us including LGBTQIA+ communities are beloved children of God and members of our church community. You are both invited and welcomed to participate in our ministries.
United Methodists are members of a global and diverse denomination and are clearly not of one mind on questions around human sexuality. In spite of our differences, we are all children of God. At a time in which our society is becoming increasing polarized, my hope is still that the church can be a place where people of different backgrounds, cultures and opinions will come together.
The effects of the General Conference’s decisions on the denomination are still being determined. None of the legislation will become church law until Jan. 1, 2020. I encourage each of you to give yourselves time to process and heal and continue to offer love to each other. We will continue our vital ministry and seek to be a community that welcomes and loves all people. As we learn more, we will discuss next steps together.
Pastor Ran and I encourage everyone to be in prayer over the next few months for our church, our denomination and for all those
who are scared or hurting. Our doors are always open if you need to talk or pray with someone. May we all continue to love one
another as Christ loves us.
Grace and Peace
Revs. Kook Ho Kim and Ran Yoo