(Special thanks to Mike Green who wrote the letter to RMN announcing 1st UMC’s Reconciling decision).
“Today …in a small downtown church in the very conservative state of Utah, something amazing happened through God’s work. On April 26, 2010 the Church Council of First UMC of Salt Lake City approved an all inclusive church statement….
Led By God, we are a diverse United Methodist Community that welcomes and reaches out to the world. Guided in love by the Holy Spirit, we practice our faith through worship, study and service and encourage each other to do Christ’s work in our daily lives. Out welcome knows no boundaries of age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic condition, physical or mental ability. We embrace and seek to preserve the beautiful, amazing diversity of God’s creation.
At the Church Council meeting, Rev. Lee began by explaining that we needed to talk about “Reconciling Ministries”. I proceeded to explain the purpose of becoming a RUM. I outlines the steps to begin the process, but before I could finish, I was interrupted by council members. They felt that there was no reason for us to go through the “14 step process” I was trying to explain because “we already live it.” I then just sat back and watched in awe as a short discussion followed about how inclusive we are as a church and that we could best proceed on this subject by simply coming up with and approving an all inclusive statement. Another member of the council had been looking through one of the handouts I brought and picked out one of the statements, then promptly presented it to approve. What ensued was everyone in the room wanting to be the person to give the second. I was so moved, I was speechless as I thought about what I was witnessing. What I thought would take at least a year was done in less than 15 minutes. Since all Council members were so enthusiastic, it was decided that everyone present would be listed as a “second” on the motion for the record.
First UMC held their first Reconciling service in May where a Christian recording artist, Kevin Jacobson, wrote and composed a song titled “Believe Out Loud”. (They have hosted an Interfaith Pride Service and an exhibit at Utah State Pride for the past two years.)
This journey continues and we still have much work to do throughout the state of Utah, but in a small church, located in downtown Salt Lake City, history was made, by simply living the values of community and social justice.”
To Learn more abouty First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City, visit http://firstmethodistslc.org/