I encourage you to read an article in the Washington Post by Rev. Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris UMC. It pretty accurately describes where the UMC is on the whole human sexuality debate as a result of our General Conference action this week. It’s been a tough, sometimes painful week, but I think most of us delegates believe that God’s spirit broke through in an unexpected way and that we have found a way forward even though the future of the UMC isn’t clear.
I believe this is due to the prayers many of you, along with thousands around the world, as we gathered in Portland. This is the fifth General Conference I have attended and I don’t recall such a sense of the spirit and good will among delegates, even though we may strongly disagree on the issues of sexuality. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly was not all bliss. There were some very low moments where delegates were down right hurtful. But for the most part I sense there was a more positive spirit. Again, I attribute this to the spirit of Christ and the prayers of many, many people and churches. I am deeply grateful to those of you who prayed and thank you for being with us delegates on the journey!
— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development