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Safe Harbor!
June 13, 2019, 1:00 PM

Safe Harbor!

Annual Conference addressed the matters posed by the General Conference directions to adopt the Traditionalist Plan for the Denomination. The Pacific North West United Methodist Church is rejecting the punitive measures of the Traditional Plan and has resolved to become a Safe Harbor for persons having to flee regions where they are likely to be punished severely for who they are.

The Traditionalist Plan was chosen primarily by members from African Countries where in some cases same sex relationships are subject to imprisonment, or worse, by law. The U.S. constituency was two thirds opposed to the Traditionalist Plan. The opposition was supported by conservatives and progressives in favor of the One Church Plan, which would permit churches to choose for themselves whether or not to allow same sex persons the privilege of belonging and or serving without punishment.

The sessions were long, the business was conducted with compassion and a gracious spirit. The God centered worship, so inclusive of all who were there, bore testimony to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. A powerful sermon on Luke 10:25-28 by Rev. Carlo Rapanut addressed how we are in this “liminal moment” and how God is moving us from here to a new future. This was very effective sermon. I found it to be a most appropriate Word from the Lord to the church in our time of grieving and looking through our pain to the Hope God is bringing to the Church.

Thank you for allowing me the privilege and time to witness the Annual Conference. Because I am ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I do not have the voting privilege at the Annual Conference. Nevertheless I do find kinship with my friends and colleagues in ministry at these gatherings.

I am especially grateful that Camille and Christy Price were attending as well, they are a source of wonderful conversation, storytelling, and laughter, especially as we had meals together. We learned much and found Annual Conference to be very rewarding.

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