Morrow Church is proud to announce our participation in this year’s North Jersey Pride Festival!
North Jersey Pride hosts this “family-friendly event that brings together LGBTQ folks and straight allies from all over the Garden State to celebrate diversity and promote equality.”
The festival will be held on Sunday, June 12, from 12pm-6pm at Memorial Park Amphitheater (123 Dunnell Road in Maplewood, NJ).
Morrow Church is no stranger to North Jersey Pride: we participated in 2014, too! (See pictures above.)
Learn more here about North Jersey Pride here!
Adopted by unanimous resolution by the Church Council on November 12, 2013
Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church is called to the ministry of reconciliation. We embrace as a gift the diversity of our world. We celebrate our human family’s diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, faith, history, economic status, marital status, physical and mental ability, and education.
We affirm that all people are created in the image of God and as beloved children of God, all are worthy of God’s love and grace. We welcome the full inclusion of all people in the life and ministries of Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church as we journey toward reconciliation through Christ.
We recognize that there are differences among us, but we believe that we can love alike even though we may not think alike.
We proclaim this statement of welcome to all who have known the pain of exclusion or discrimination in church and society. We invite all people to join us in our faith journey toward greater love, understanding, and mutual respect.
We invite you to read more about the Reconciling Ministries Network here.
“Immediately after the vote and before the results where tallied, Bishop John Schol stated that he is the bishop of all people and it is not his intention to change people’s minds but to create space for people to hold differing views of a very difficult and divisive concerns within the church. Along with the conference’s leadership, Bishop Schol will ensure that congregations may continue to read the Bible, pray and listen for God’s call for their congregation. Bishop Schol will continue to honor Wesleyan theology which is “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” – Greater New Jersey Annual Conference
Before the final votes on legislation regarding human sexuality, Bishop Schol called the body to Holy Conferencing and asked all present to gather in groups of two or three people to share with each by answering the following questions:
1) How has your life been touched by God, in the last year or while at Annual Conference?
2) What is your hope for the future of the church and what concerns do you have?
3) How have you personally experienced the church’s struggle with homosexuality?
4) The sharing partner asks one question for clarification, for example: “Share with me more about … and why you believe this.” Or, “How did you come to this understanding?” Or, “How would you see GNJ living this out?” Or, “What experience did you have that shaped your thinking?”
5) What do you believe about the church’s policies concerning homosexuality and what do you want others to understand?
6) The sharing partner asks one question for clarification, for example: “Share with me more about … and why you believe this.” Or, “How did you come to this understanding?” Or, “How would you see GNJ living this out?” Or, “What experience did you have that shaped your thinking?”
7) What is one thing that would help me know you better if I understood it about you?
Results on Legislation regarding Human Sexuality
As reported earlier, the legislation on human sexuality passed. The first four pieces of legislation will be sent to General Conference in 2016 for consideration. The following details the vote count for each piece of legislation:
1) Strike from the Book of Discipline the phrase: We do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider the practice incompatible with Christian teaching.
410 – Yes / 339 – No
2) Strike from the Book of Discipline the phrase: Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.
396 – Yes / 353 – No
3) Strike from the Book of Discipline that homosexuality and performing homosexual unions or weddings is a chargeable offense.
414 – Yes / 336 – No
4) Strike from the Book of Discipline that United Methodist funds cannot support the acceptance of homosexuality or supporting homosexual ministries.
405 – Yes / 344 – No
5) The Greater New Jersey Conference work for the full inclusion of all people including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons and that we oppose the continued restrictions of church law that restricts the full inclusion of LGBT people.
389 – Yes / 352 – No
6) The Greater New Jersey Conference make a public statement supporting and upholding marriage equality in civil law and that we spiritually, emotionally and prayerfully support clergy who are brought up on charges for performing homosexual unions or performing same-sex wedding ceremonies.
381 – Yes / 358 – No
A task force on Human Sexuality is also being organized to guide churches in discussing and reflecting on issues related to sexuality. According to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, “A team is being organized on Human Sexuality that will identify the needs of Greater New Jersey related to ongoing human sexuality conversations and the most recent annual conference vote. The task force will provide resources to assist understanding and conversation within congregations about the present UMC human sexuality conversation that helps all of our congregations to feel valued and honored and helps recognize that good people of faith can disagree and continue in faithful relationship with God and one another.”
November 17, 2013 (Maplewood, NJ)
In the fall of 2013, we held a candlelight vigil to stand in solidarity with United Methodist clergy who were facing trials for performing same-sex marriages.
We believe that the church is to be a beacon of light and life for all people, and we support those who preach a gospel of inclusion of all people in the family of God.