As some of you know, the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church held a special session on May 23rd. This was a session to allow 83
United Methodist churches in Iowa to disaffiliate and begin a new denomination. This is about 11% of the UM churches in our state. Many of these
churches are moving to a new denomination called the Global Methodist Church. This denomination will have more conservative theological leanings that are not open to the ordination of LGBTQ clergy and same-gender weddings.
All of this is sad, but it has been a long-time coming. Members of our conference and denomination have had different views on the Bible and LGBTQ matters for some time. I wish we remained together, but I also understand the need to move forward. I have friends on the other side and I appreciate
my conversations with those folks, but sometimes a divorce is necessary. Our unity has been challenged, but I think this makes us even more determined to show fresh ways of a unified spirit.
Lovely Lane has had a welcoming presence throughout our church’s history. The Welcoming Statement in our bulletin has been in place for over twenty
years. The CAT Survey we took last year confirmed our theological leanings. The survey revealed that 70% of our congregation agrees with the ordination of LGBTQ clergy and the performing of same-gender weddings in our sanctuary. At Lovely Lane, we will continue to be faithful to our covenant and commitment to the current Iowa Annual Conference.
I will add that all the UM churches in Cedar Rapids are remaining committed to the Iowa Annual Conference too. In fact, we are going to have a joint
worship service on Sunday, July 2nd, at Coe College. This will be a time to celebrate the common work and ministry we do!
I will keep in touch with any further developments. I am also open to any questions you might have.
Peace to you, Scott