— BREAKING — 1,000TH UM CHURCH/COMMUNITY COMMITS TO LGBTQ JUSTICE AND INCLUSION A MONTH AFTER DENOMINATIONAL ANTI-LGBTQ VOTE
Excerpt from press release:
Briensburg United Methodist Church in Benton, KY, became the 1,000th Reconciling Church on Friday, March 29, 2019. “Briensburg UMC hopes to amplify the message that even smaller rural churches like ours do not stand alone in our resolute affirmation that God loves everyone,” says Rev. Bill Lawson, who serves as Briensburg UMC’s pastor. “To the UMC, we point out that God continues to demonstrate the reconciling work of Jesus on the cross by manifesting the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the ministries and relationships of LGBTQ Christians. To all LGBTQ Christians, we absolutely welcome and need your full participation and leadership in our congregations.”
‘Leave it alone, sir, just one more year; I will dig around it and put in some fertilizer. Then if the tree bears figs next year, so much the better; if not, then you can have it cut down.’” Luke 13:8 (GNT)
Our Lenten theme this year focuses on the joyful aspects of self-examination, breaking a bit from the medieval traditions of self-flagellation and from the popular tradition of confessing other people’s sins instead of our own.
Our worship services and proclamations of the Gospel will emphasize the theme “Be Loved, Not Judged.” We can’t help what others want to do if they are determined to do it the other way around, but we can choose to intentionally place ourselves where we can love and be loved as Christ has loved us. We can choose intentionally to refrain from accepting the judgment of others and resist the temptation to judge them in return.
“Rend your heart, and not your garments.” Joel 2:13
“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 are asking everyone connected with the ministries of Briensburg UMC including online, study groups, Scouting, active and inactive membership, and any other programs to please join the RMN as a “Reconciling United Methodist” and notify us by text, phone call, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org when you have done so. Cards are also available in the church vestibule.
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.
Emma Rushing, Coordinator and Maddy Powell, Intern presented information about the Family Youth Service Center (FYSC) of Marshall County High School to the Faith Book Club of Briensburg United Methodist Church on Feb. 21, 2019. The FYSC assists students with support for non academic needs related to the improvement of their learning ability. Assistance includes job applications and résumés, utilities, backpack meals, and helping to meet many other needs to help students focus on their education. The FYSC is funded through grants and donations.
The Faith Book Club at Briensburg UMC meets weekly on Thursdays for lunch and discussion of inspirational books. The club also has a “kitty” to which they contribute for supporting various community projects such as the FYSC, mission trips, children’s Christmas gifts, African wells, and other needs.