Clark County Methodists reject church ruling on LGBTQ

first_img“Stop the harm!” was shouted from the stands after the United Methodist Church voted Tuesday to maintain bans against LGBTQ clergy and same-gender marriages. The refrain pointed to the ethos of John Wesley, the Methodist movement’s founder: Do no harm, do good and stay in love with God.“It was devastating to watch the church protest each other,” said the Rev. Meredith Gudger-Raines, pastor at Ridgefield United Methodist Church. At last week’s general conference in St. Louis, she observed the ruling and protests that left the church divided.“Today, Methodists are reeling. We’re in grief and we want to be better than we are. The clergy I know are working furiously to remind LGBTQ folks that they’re beloved children of God,” she said. “We are working furiously against our own church.”The United Methodist Church is one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world. There are about a dozen churches in Clark County; they are part of the Western Jurisdiction that took a stand against Tuesday’s ruling, saying the jurisdiction remains committed to fully including everyone regardless of sexual orientation. The jurisdiction has defied the denomination’s rules for years.“The clergy in the Western Jurisdiction don’t stop at just ‘you can come in our doors.’ We affirm people in that we recognize that you are created perfectly, and we love you and God loves you exactly as you are,” said the Rev. Susan Boegli of Battle Ground United Methodist Church.last_img read more