Uh-oh, they should have read the newsletter

I’ve had a front-row seat to the debate in the United Methodist Church over the inclusion of anyone who declares any sexual preference, within limits of causing harm. From Walker Church in Minneapolis which had successive pastors leading the call for inclusion, going back to the 1960s, to my newer neighbors up north, in a small town, who actually wrote a letter to Walker telling them they are sinners.

What the conservatives up here seemed to have failed to do is read the news. It’s been in nationally published articles, as well as state and district level announcements. They actively knew they were ignoring it when the pastor told his congregation NOT to go to the state meeting, where the topic was being discussed. So it’s a failure of leadership too.

Well, the day of reckoning has come. The church I used to go to is staying with the UMC, the ones that sort of “won the fight”. They don’t have to do anything, just agree to the new rules, like pastors can marry gay couples. In the nearby town, where they call themselves a “Community Church”, meaning they accept a variety of beliefs, but well within Christian boundaries, they have to pay to get out and join the split-off group. They get the land and building for free, but they have to “buy” the funds, like the pastor’s retirement. It’s a chunk of change.

A couple of Sundays ago, that announcement was made. A straw poll was taken and the congregation is 50/50, so the yelling began. No really, real yelling, about how the liberals are bringing Satan. One guy stormed out and some inside were worried he was coming back with weapons. I know from a good source that others were already armed, on both sides of the issue. Packing heat is not that unusual around here, but this situation is exactly why it should be rare or non-existent.