Hi, I’m Jill. I am the current Lay Leader of Westview United Methodist Church, and I welcome everyone to our congregation.
However, I need to make a few things clear before you come.
We are a church for everyone. If that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to seek fellowship elsewhere.
What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that we don’t believe in drawing up battle lines and picking sides. We believe the body of Christ is strongest when we are together in all our beautiful, messy diversity, loving each other even when we disagree.
What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that if you need an accommodation that we don’t currently have in order to fully participate in our services and ministries, we will do everything in our power to understand your needs and make our church accessible to you.
What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means if you are LGBTQ+ you are welcomed fully into our fellowship, as brothers and sisters in Christ. You may participate in ministries and in all levels of local leadership, but you must understand that the United Methodist Church is still wrestling with your full inclusion. That means we as a denomination do not currently ordain individuals that are openly gay, nor do we marry same sex couples. Individual congregations take different stances on these issues, and things are changing fast, but as a denomination, these are the current policies and we understand you need this clarity upfront.
What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that we respect your right to follow your own deeply held convictions on matters that divide us, and trust that we can hold our beliefs while behaving in a loving and grace-filled way. We believe that God is the only judge of our sin, and we encourage each other to live holy lives within our own personal understanding of what God has called us to. We ask that people on both sides of any issue use their differences to show the world the power of Christ’s love, rather than conflict and hatred.
What does it mean that we are a church for everyone? It means that you don’t have to figure out how to be “like” us to fellowship, worship and grow with us. We want you to come, and bring everything you have, your strengths, your weaknesses, your flaws and your complications, your openness and your bias, and lay everything at the foot of the cross so we can grow together into the diverse body of Christ we are meant to be.