April 28, 2013
"Moving the Fence"
As evidenced in "The Acts of the Apostles", the early Church struggled with the question of whom to include and whom to exclude from the Christian community. In this Sunday's reading (you can read it here), the Apostle Peter has a vision that challenges his understanding of the borders between clean and unclean, acceptable and unacceptable. The revelation convinces him that it's God's will to move the fence separating the Gentiles from the Church. "If God gave them the same gift that we received when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?" asks Peter.
Over the millennia since, the Church has found it repeatedly necessary to move its fences in order not to hinder God. (Think Galileo and the Inquisition, banned divorcees, and the prohibition against female clergy.) This week we'll consider a fence that's being moved by many mainline Protestant denominations - the one that excludes LGBT folks. We'll talk about the official United Methodist position on the inclusion of LGBT persons and about our congregation's decision to explore becoming a "Reconciling Congregation". Join us on Sunday to learn more.