Park Slope UMC Disobediently Adds Un-holy Homosexual Unions To Wedding Policy
Sent: Monday, October 08, 2001 8:10 AM
To: CALLEDOUT Subject: [CALLED OUT] Park Slope UMC Policy on Weddings and Holy Unions
CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE
A statement from Park Slope United Methodist Church, a Personal, Social Justice and Earth Ministry at Sixth Avenue and 8th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215. Web: http://www.angelfire.com/ny2/psumc/
Park Slope United Methodist Church strives to celebrate all of God's blessings for each of us. We celebrate the joys of many different kinds of human relationships, including committed relationships among couples regardless of their sexual orientation. We believe that God blesses the love between same-sex and different-sex couples equally, and does not want us to discriminate against each other. In 1996, the General Conference of the national United Methodist Church, which meets every four years, voted to ban what it called "homosexual unions" -- often called holy unions. This ban now appears as paragraph 332.6 in the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline: "Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches." One United Methodist pastor, Jimmy Creech, has been expelled from the ministry under this ban, and others have been disciplined. This ban joins other discriminatory language in the Book of Discipline, including language barring "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" from ordained ministry.
We were deeply saddened when efforts in which our pastor, our congregation and many others joined failed to remove the holy union ban during the 2000 General Conference. Park Slope United Methodist Church began a process of congregational deliberation and discernment on how to respond. In a congregational vote in June 2001, the PSUMC community overwhelmingly favored adopting an explicitly non-discriminatory policy: to celebrate holy unions and legal weddings under the same guidelines. PSUMC's Church Council adopted such a policy in August and amended it slightly on September 13, two days after the World Trade Center attacks. Now more than ever, we are committed to celebrate God's blessings together.
Here is PSUMC's policy statement on holy unions and other covenant services:
"It is the policy of Park Slope United Methodist Church that exchanging of vows for all covenant services including legal weddings for all couples in our church community will be held in places other than in our church, such as churches of other denominations, private homes, the garden, or parks and other public spaces. The pastor will no longer conduct legal marriage or holy union ceremonies. As an inclusive Christian community, we refuse to discriminate against each other, and we will work to remove discriminatory policies in the UMC Book of Discipline, which offend against Christ's teaching that we love one another as God loves us."
[UCMPage.org Editor Note: This is the remainder of the policy is below]
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