Why some are choosing to stay in The United Methodist Church…
by Kirby Knight
I am appalled by the travesty of a trial against a minister who had the audacity to marry his son (who also has two other gay children). I truly am ashamed of my denomination right now.
But I plan to remain a Methodist because of my church, Foundry UMC in Washington, DC and because of the Reconciling Ministry Network movement. I am a relatively new member of the UMC, just over 3 years. I grew up in the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination with even greater animosity towards the LGBT community. I was an ordained minister in the SBC until circumstances drove me away. At Foundry UMC, I found a church that models Jesus Christ better than any other church I know. The sign out front says “All Are Welcome” and unlike many other churches with a similar sign, Foundry truly means it.
I can’t tell you how many Sundays I’ve been moved to tears at Foundry. The inclusivity truly is palpable each and every week. Hearing proclamations of equality from our wonderful pastor, Rev. Dean Snyder, week in and week out warms my soul. When the church voted overwhelmingly to allow same-sex marriage in our church just over 3 years ago, the feeling of support and affirmation was overwhelming. This was just the continuation of Foundry’s already relentless support of LGBT people as a Reconciling congregation.
I’m sad that Dean Snyder will be retiring in the summer of 2014. As long as Foundry continues to have a pastor with such a strong commitment to full equality for all, I will remain part of the UMC.
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Reasons I Stay is a project of Reconciling Ministries Network dedicated to share the stories of individuals who have decided to stay in The United Methodist Church despite its descriminatory, unjust, immoral rules against LGBTQ persons. It is part of the Biblical Obedience movement sweeping across The United Methodist Church. We recognize that staying is not the right and healthy choice for all people, and we celebrate those too who have chosen to leave to more inclusive faith communities. You can read all the Reasons I Stay stories here. We invite you to submit your own story to Reasons I Stay.