Last night we had a DreamUMC chat. It’s a twitter-based discussion that takes place for an hour twice a month and it has taken place ever since General Conference 2012. Yes, twice a month laity and clergy discuss United Methodist topics. Really.
The responses blew me away. Here’s most of them with some light edits for readability (these are individual tweets submitted in direct response to the above question):
- We aren’t hearing about all of the LGBT teens that kill themselves because their church doesn’t love them
- My UCC, Presby, Lutheran, and non-denom friends who LEFT the UMC without a trial or fanfare and blossomed in another denomination
- The “methodist middle” who wants to do ministry, be church, “don’t like ugly”.
- The uncertain. Those who don’t know what to think (about trials or sexuality). Churches can’t just ignore it
- as people threaten to leave and cry foul, we never hear from all the people who have already left
- Silenced? People who want the UMC open & affirming but aren’t on board with the progressive strategy of ignoring Para 341.6.
- the folk who thought twice & didn’t go to a UMC church to experience Jesus for the 1st time bc of what they saw on news
- most in my church barely know the BoD exists, never mind trials.
- had 2 young adults tell me this week they are reconsidering going into ministry in the UMC due to the trials. Sad.
- Homeless youth – who find themselves such because parents claim Christ and then deliver ultimatums.
- we don’t hear the voices of the people in pews who are there because they love God and love each other. You know. Methodists.
- We are ignoring all of the people that leave, the parents that have queer kids to raise, the people we are supposed to serve
- My non-progressive friends who don’t want to be known for who they exclude but who they work alongside. Praxis > Orthodoxy
- We are not hearing from GLTBQ employees of churches – at risk of their own sort of trials.
- We don’t hear from those who struggle to be celibate, whether gay or straight, & how little support they get 2 live out covenant.
- Central Conference folks without instant twitter, facebook, Internet news
- The silent victims are folks in the pews who pay for these trials. GC is the forum to get change. Don’t bankrupt the Church.
- We don’t hear from those who feel marginalized by a discipline that promotes a “only the holy” public face.
- Persons who r generally LGBT supportive but who value work w/in structure feel beat on when they raise ‘this is our rule’ .
- basic clergy and laity integrity issues are swept under the rug in place of hot topics
- We may not be hearing from candidates. I know I have been told to not be outspoken about anything while in process.
- young people who struggle with staying in the church because of how certain people treat their LGBTQ friends.
- these persons often feel they’re made pariah when they honestly care abt persons involved. how 2 keep in convo?
- working in DC I have heard from many former UMs who want nothing to do w/ a church that permits such things as church trials
- Silent casualties – LGBTQ who dismiss their call to ordination or drop out of the process
- Until NO queer kid is shunned, degraded or bullied by church, I kinda don’t think there’s a more important, life-saving issue.
- Good point about candidates. Bet the UMC is losing good people to denoms where at least you know where they stand.
- The young people interested in ministry but who either have LGBTQ friends or are LGBTQ. It’s alienating and discouraging
- Young people who want to leave but found the church and the people in it to be their only support on LGBTQ issues.
- These people love God and love to serve him but are disheartened by the messages they hear from outcomes of these trials.
- Those who have orthodox faith and enjoy being in denomination with folks who believe differently than them
Just reporting…thought it was fascinating as they were coming in!
- Who else are we not hearing from because of our disciplinary processes?
- Who else is excluded from the way how we deal with dissenting words and actions in the United Methodist Church?
Thanks for your comments!