unofficial cm page


Article


Reconciling Church Program
makes case for homosexual practice


On the Acquittal of the Rev. Jimmy Creech


    The jury decision in the trial of Jimmy Creech is a glimmer of God's grace. The narrow decision of these thirteen United Methodist clergy in Nebraska was not an endorsement of same-sex covenant ceremonies. We understand the jury's message to be that, in a time when our church is not of one mind concerning the place of gay and lesbian persons in the church, it is important to keep everyone at the table. The jury was unwilling to discard a dedicated and gifted pastor who believes that God 
    calls him to offer full pastoral services to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. Furthermore the jury was unwilling to send a message that lesbian, gay and bisexual persons and their families should be denied access to ministries of the church.

    While we regret that The United Methodist Church is unable to unequivocally welcome lesbian, gay and bisexual persons and their families at this time, we believe that God's Spirit is moving the church toward such a fuller understanding of the inclusive and compassionate Gospel of Jesus Christ. The outcome of the Creech trial is one sign of this progress. However it is distressing to hear voices of those in the church who threaten withdrawal or reprisals because others on the margins of the  church are being invited to join them at God's table. God's table is bountiful with room enough for all.

    Reconciling communities and individuals must help the church discern truth amidst myths and misinformation. Proceedings of the Creech trial revealed confusion regarding the issue of "same-sex marriage." Marriage is a legal contract function of the state. On the other hand, the church blesses covenants, committed human relationships that reflect our ultimate covenant with God. The  fundamental challenge facing the church is not about same-sex marriage nor, at its root, even about same-sex covenants. The real question is whether all persons--regardless of race, age, sex, economic status, physical/mental ability or sexual orientation--are welcome to participate fully in the life and ministries of the church.

    We commend all of those who provided a courageous witness to God's call to be in ministry with all persons during the trial, particularly the Rev. Jimmy Creech and his wife Chris; the Rev. Doug Williamson, defense counsel; and attorney Mike McClellan. They made great sacrifices in order to stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay and bisexual persons and their families.

  From   The Reconciling Congregational Program  http://www.rcp.org/trialresp.html  


 CM Homepage