LGBTQ+ Inclusiveness Resources

Pastor’s View

Homosexuality is not a sin in my understanding of the Bible. We are actively seeking LGBTQ+ Christians for leadership and full participation in the ministries of our congregation.

The references on this page support progressive views, in contrast with the more traditional conservative interpretations of certain Bible passages. Instead of arguing these and other controversial issues, I refer you to the articles which support my position and encourage you to arrive at your own conclusions.

I acknowledge and respect the majority who disagree with this view, but remind all of the many injustices historically supported by those same traditional conservative methods of interpreting the Bible that produced the “Slave Bible,” and that continue to justify racism, discrimination, exploitation, abuse of children and immigrants, violence, silencing of women in the Church, and many other current forms of oppression which our congregation resists because of our understanding of the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus.

The concepts of Scriptural infallibility and inerrancy refer only to the original texts, not to the subsequent translations, interpretations, and applications. The concepts themselves are interpretations of Biblical passages and derivative theologies, such as the word “inspiration” in 2 Timothy 3:16.

The life and teachings of Jesus are paramount in the Bible. Jesus challenged some Old Testament passages, and he elevated others as having greater weight (i.e., Matthew 5:38-39 and Matthew 22:36-40).

Please see “Theological Guidelines: Scripture” for more about the United Methodist understanding of the Bible, which we affirm to be the Word of God and our primary resource for the Christian faith.

Rev. Bill Lawson
Pastor of Briensburg UMC

Unanimous Vote: Join Reconciling Ministries Network

“We join the Reconciling Ministries Network as a Reconciling Congregation.  We welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to participate fully in the worship, life, ministry, membership, and leadership of Briensburg United Methodist Church.”  Unanimous Single Governance Board vote on March 3, 2019.

We invite everyone who wants to be a part of the Reconciling Ministries Network to join the RMN as a “Reconciling United Methodist” and notify us by text, phone call, or email to worship@briensburg.org when you have done so.  Cards are also available in the church vestibule.

Statement of Inclusion
We invite everyone to share fully in the worship services, life, ministry, and leadership of Briensburg United Methodist Church inclusive of age, race, nationality, gender, LGBTQ, theology, politics, and legal status.
Church Council Inclusiveness Statement, July 15, 2018

Social Principles 
“Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.”
(Social Principles: The Social Community)

The following references all support LGBTQ+ inclusiveness.

Pastor’s Note: Studying well written, thoughtful materials is preferable to engaging in spontaneous and incomplete arguments about this subject.  The articles in bold below are especially commended to your study, but we don’t necessarily agree with everything contained in all these materials.  They are provided as resources for your prayerful consideration. (Pastor’s notes on specific items are italicized in red).

Please email links to other supportive items to worship@briensburg.org for addition to this list.

Collections:

Reconciling Ministries Resources
Excellent library of information and support materials

Articles:

Videos:

Books:

Resolution of Support for the 
Recommendation of the Council of Bishops on The Way Forward
(Briensburg UM Church Council, July 15, 2018)

WHEREAS, the Council of Bishops has recommended the “One Church Plan” for adoption by the Special Session of General Conference called for February 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri, and

WHEREAS, “The plan would remove the restrictive language against the practice of homosexuality in the Book Discipline, the denomination’s policy book,” and “encourages a generous unity by giving United Methodists the ability to address different missional contexts in ways that reflect their theological convictions”
(Council of Bishops Press Release of May 4, 2018 on umc.org),

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Briensburg United Methodist Church Council supports the recommendation of the Council of Bishops on the Way Forward.
(Briensburg UMC Emphasizes Inclusivity)

(Note: The current restrictions which would have been removed by this recommendation if accepted by vote of the delegates pertain to marriage, pastors, and ordination).

We are still inclusive & we still preach love for all.

LGBTQ+ persons may still be full members and participants in the leadership and all other aspects of this church.

The decisions by the 2019 General Conference do not change that. Had the One Church Plan passed, the current restrictions pertaining to marriage and to clergy would have been lifted.  We will continue to advocate for those restrictions to be removed and to be replaced with inclusive language.

We strongly support the continuing unity of The United Methodist Church in fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ.