Striving to be a channel for God's love

By The Rev. Linda Campbell-Marshall | Mar 14, 2019

On Sunday, March 3, representative members of the Aldersgate United Methodist Church of Rockland met to grieve the hurt we know to have been inflicted on so many by the recent international assembly of our denomination in St. Louis. We affirm our belief that all people have a place in the heart of God. We stand with our LBGTQIA brothers and sisters and with their families because we know everyone to be of sacred worth. All are welcome here.

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and the leadership team of the New England Conference (Cabinet members: Rev. Rene Perez, Rev. Jill Colley Robinson, Rev. James McPhee, Rev. We Hyun Chang, Rev. Dr. David Calhoun, Rev. Dr. Karen L. Munson, Rev. Taesung Kang, Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster III, Rev. Jackie Brannen) issued the following statement March 5:

“In the name and spirit of Jesus Christ, grace and peace to the people called Methodist in New England.

We speak with one heart and voice of our commitment to lead a church that does not discriminate in membership, ordination, or service in ministry based upon any person’s gender or sexual identity. We stand with the NEAC Board of Ordained Ministry in its commitment and ministry.

We are heartbroken by, and repent of, the harm caused by the recent Special Session of General Conference and years of discrimination in the United Methodist Church to LGBTQIA friends, neighbors, and family members, as well as many of you.

In New England, we have long aspired to operate in a manner similar to the One Church Plan. Our reality is that most of our churches are diverse in many aspects, as are our families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. By God’s grace, we live together, love one another and grow as disciples of Christ across our differences.

As we all await a clearer picture, we hold each and all of you in prayer asking that you do the same for us. We will share information as it becomes available.”

With our leadership, the people of Aldersgate will continue to be in ministry in our community toward bringing wholeness to every person we encounter. With other United Methodists, we will strive to be a channel for God’s love as we care for the needs of all people, both locally and globally. We will be a church of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors” as we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the lonely, the afraid, the sick, the imprisoned and the refugee. We commit ourselves, in the words of the Old Testament prophet Micah “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8)

United Methodists are a global church, encompassing persons from every continent and culture. Though we do not agree on specifics and the tenor of our disagreement sometimes does not honor God, we strive by God’s grace to find God’s will for us by use of scripture, tradition, reason and experience, both globally and locally.

We ask forgiveness from those hurt by our recent failure in legislation. At Aldersgate we pledge ourselves to be present for any and all people, regardless of position on this or any other issue. All have always been, and will always be, welcome here!

[Signed by] Rev. Linda Campbell-Marshall, pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Rockland, and representative members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church: Paul Marshall, Jen Curran, Valerie Stevens, Mike Lane, Kathy Lane, Sharon Jameson, Bruce Jameson, Mark Piscitelli, Alison McKellar, Nancy Fitzgerald, Laura Brainerd, Roger Brainerd, Michael Leonard

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Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Mar 18, 2019 16:44

This church is so loving and opening-God-felt. From the moment you hear the organ played by Sue and then true words of God-love and inclusiveness, no wonder your hearts are full. God Bless!

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Mar 14, 2019 14:45

“Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors” Glad to see people willing to stand up for their faith in an inclusive God who either loves us all or none of us.  If we say we believe it, we damned well better be living it, because there is a whole bunch of hurting people out there watching to see if we really offer the HOPE we expound.

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