Blessing of Unions Sunday January 12, 2020
On January 1, 2020, the “Traditional Plan,” adopted narrowly by delegates at the February 2019 Special General Conference of the United Methodist Denomination, goes into effect. The plan is anything but “Traditional” as it is a radical departure from the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition of grace. Under this plan, clergy who are found guilty by trial of performing a same-gender wedding, regardless of circumstances, are suspended for a minimum of one year without pay. The second time, they are stripped of their credentials without recourse. The plan also prohibits bishops from ordaining “self-avowed” “homosexuals” and places additional punitive measures in the already discriminatory United Methodist Book of Discipline which falsely labels living out one’s God-given identity as LGBTQAI+ as “incompatible with Christian teaching,” singling out LGBTQ persons for harm.
Bering Church unequivocally denounces the “Traditional Plan” and the portions of the Book of Discipline that discriminate against LGBTQAI+ persons, couples and families. Beginning January 1, 2020, In opposition to the harmful actions of the United Methodist denomination in implementing this plan, Bering Church (formerly referred to as Bering Memorial UMC) will not use “United Methodist” in any of its communications until the discrimination ends. Additionally, the January 12, 2020 10:50 am worship service will be a protest against this plan and a celebration and affirmation of all LGBTQAI+ couples and families who are being discriminated against by it. During worship, a special blessing will be offered for all same gender couples and families because they are the ones being discriminated against by the denomination. We will bless, affirm, protest and celebrate in worship and at the reception immediately following the worship service.