The General Conference of the United Methodist Church has come to a decision: the Traditional Plan has passed by a majority vote. This means that the current prohibitions against LGBTQ+ clergy and marriage will continue, and increased prohibitions will be put into place for clergy, Bishops, Churches, Annual Conferences who are not in compliance. It is still unclear what this will mean, but this act by the delegates of General Conference makes clear the brokenness of our global church body.
I want those of you who are LGBTQ+, those who have family members and/or friends who are LGBTQ+, and those who are allies to please know this: you are a child of God and no legislation passed by the General Conference will ever change that. Today, the global UMC failed to recognize the countless gifts that you offer the church. While you are not the first to experience such harm by the church, it does not reduce the pain that has been caused. Time will bring God’s redeeming grace, but know that I see you, I love you, and I acknowledge your deep pain and share your hurt. I am still your pastor, and you are welcome at any church I serve. Full stop.
While this week has set in motion dramatic changes in the UMC and I cannot predict the future shape of the denomination, know that together, with the staff and lay leadership of Silverton UMC and Trinity Lutheran Church, I continue to be committed to growing our congregations, our parish partnership, and embracing wholeheartedly the values of God’s gracious hospitality and welcome for all people. Nothing about our ministry or our partnership is changed by this vote.
We will still gather each Sunday for worship. We will continue our mission efforts in our community to feed our community through Saturday Meals, partnering with SACA through Snack Sacks, providing a space for children in our community for Indoor Play Park and Silverton Children’s Choir, helping as volunteers at Silverton After School Activities Program, and making warm quilts for people throughout the world. We will continue to open our doors to all people without regard to race, financial status, marital status, education, or anyone who loves. We will continue to work tirelessly in a variety of ways to work toward justice and the care for all people in Silverton. What goes on in the UMC and ELCA will not deter us from our efforts to share the love of Christ in Silverton.
In a few days, we will begin our 40-day journey to Easter. As we do, we will begin in ashes, ultimately ending in a garden teeming with new life and impossible possibility – at the heart of God. As we approach this season – broken hearted with sack-cloth and ash still on our faces from this news, my hope is that we hear clearly the call of God to come with all of our hearts – to answer the call, grow in faith, and spread God’s love in Christ.
I continue to be inspired by you as your pastor, and I give thanks for you! See you in worship!
Beginning March 13th!
Come experience a new kind of worship – in lieu of bible study we are having a Taize Service for Lent!
Messy Church is scheduled for Saturday, March 23rd, 4 to 6pm!
Game Night is scheduled for March 15th at 6:30pm! Bring a game and a snack to share!
Synod Gathering “Phase II” was rescheduled to March 16th, 1-4pm
Spring Break Clown Camp:
Calling all kids in grades 4 and up: ever want to grow in confidence but weren’t sure how? Ever curious about how to tell a story with only props and actions? Fascinated by make-up or performance art? Join us, as we welcome Bonnie-Jean Brown (also know around town as “Giggle Britches the Clown) who will help lead up to 15 young people in our community in a Clown Camp! This camp is for kids in grades 4 and up. You can email Pastor Laura to sign up, or you can sign up on the link on our church’s Facebook Page or Website.
From Living Lutheran:
WHAT IS GOD UP TO?
What is to be done? Our congregations are growing older and smaller. At least 40 percent of our congregations have an average weekly worship attendance of 50 or less. ELCA membership decreases by 70,000 people a year, or roughly the loss of a synod per year. Clergy retirements outnumber new candidates for ministry. Financial pressures and building maintenance create stress. There is a dearth of people in their 20s and 30s in our pews. How do we change this? How do we reverse the trends? Read More…
Servers for next month:
Lay Leader – Ray Kaser, Altar Guild – Jill Lounsbury, Usher – Jill Lounsbury
Birthdays for March:
3/19 – Loretta Kaser 3/27 – Josiah Patterson