Our Church Community
Who We Are
At Saint Andrews United Methodist, our doors are open to every soul seeking to welcome Jesus Christ into their hearts. We foster a community where we teach individuals to show their love for The Lord and for one another through worship and community service. Members of our church are those who build relationships with our family through community groups, volunteer activities, worship services or learning. We welcome all individuals seeking God’s love. We teach the doctrines of our Savior in prayer, and invite you to open up your hearts and allow his grace to penetrate into your soul and being. Pop in today and join our community.
A Reconciling Church
The Day of the Decision
On June 8th 2008, the membership of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church voted 94% in favor of becoming a Reconciling Congregation.
The General Conference’s Decision
The 2008 General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to retain language in the United Methodist Book of Discipline (Para. 161 B, F):
B): “We support Laws in civil society that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”
F): “Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage”…
“The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.”
Our Take on This Decision
We believe that these statements overtly exclude those affected persons from the life of the church, based solely on their sexual identity and orientation, and deny justice and equality for those persons.
We believe that God created the human beings in God's own image in male and female form; we also believe that God created them in both heterosexual and homosexual persons. We believe that all God's creation 'very good' according to the scriptures (Genesis 1:31). Therefore, we maintain that if the homosexuality was ever 'sinful,' then it is as sinful as the heterosexuality is.
The Modern Society’s Symptom and the Church’s Response
The stark fact is that not all heterosexual marriage is holy or tolerable, just as not all homosexual marriage would be holy or tolerable. The church and society have recognized the fact that married couples can be “estranged beyond reconciliation.”
The United Methodist Church also recognizes this human plight, and provides an extra-biblical venue that permits divorce and remarriage without any stigma in its Book of Discipline (Para. 161 C):
“However, when a married couple is estranged beyond reconciliation, even after thoughtful consideration and counsel, divorce is a regrettable alternative in the middle of brokenness”…
“Divorce does not preclude a new marriage. We encourage an intentional commitment of the Church and society to minister compassionately to those in the process of divorce, as well as members of divorced and remarried families, in a community of faith where God’s grace is shared by all.”
The church and the society in general correctly demonstrated their ability to override the biblical injunction, regarding the prohibition of divorce. They did so, despite the fact that Jesus clearly forbade divorce, and declared remarrying as adultery (Mt. 5:32, 19:9; Mk. 10:2-12; & Lk. 16:18).
As the human civilization has advanced, the church and the society adapted to the changing social needs, and have decided to “minister compassionately.” Now virtually every denomination and every church officiates and blesses marriages in their sanctuaries, regardless of the marital status of those who wish to remarry.
Our Questions on the Double Standard Practice of the Church and the Society
If this level of compassion and understanding is to be made available to the heterosexual couples, what keeps the church and the society from practicing the same degree of understanding and compassion for the homosexual couples?
Why do the Christians rigorously adhere to the scriptural authority in the matters pertaining to the homosexual marriages, when they have already relaxed it to allow the heterosexual divorces and remarriages?
Why do the church and society assume that God's grace and the human tolerance are reserved only for the heterosexual persons?
Why do the church and the society fully activate the authority of the scriptures against the “homosexual offences,” but not against the “heterosexual offences of divorce and remarriage”?
Didn’t the United Methodist Church issue the verdict in its Book of Disciple that the need of compassion overrides the scriptural injunction, as evinced in the same article?
Our Resolve on the Matter in the Light of the Christian Principles
Therefore, in keeping with the Holy Spirit's inclusiveness, and Jesus' compassion and hospitality, and God's grace to everyone, the people of St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church welcome to worship, and celebrate the ministries of, all persons regardless of sexual orientation or identity. Further, we invite all persons to be full participants and members of our church community, at every level, at every capacity.
This is why we chose to become a Reconciling Congregation, a congregation that welcomes all persons as beloved children of God, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
As a congregation, we commit ourselves to struggling with the implications of this statement. We honor all of the voices and opinions in our midst, and even if they disagree with our understanding, we will regard them as valid and sincere.
We believe that St. Andrew’s would be edified by humbly respecting other people's experiences and beliefs, and by earnestly seeking to grow as the beloved community of Christ through love and understanding.