Grace and peace to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ.
As you may know, North Carolina marriage laws changed Oct. 10, when the state ban on same sex unions was overturned by judicial decision.
The polity of the United Methodist Church did not change. The Book of Discipline, in paragraph 341.6, states that same sex unions will not be celebrated in our churches nor conducted by our clergy. The only body that can change the Book of Discipline is the General Conference, which will meet in 2016.
The significant change in our civil law impacts each of us as citizens of North Carolina as we also live within the polity and discipline of the United Methodist Church.
Therefore, let us pray together:
God of Grace,
Lead us, as your people, in our journey toward you and toward one another as we become fully who we are in Christ.
Guide us, as your church, to faithful discernment while embodying love, justice and hope.
Surround us, as citizens, as we recognize and live within the change in civil law.
Help us, as Christians, to glorify you in all that we do as we live in alignment with God’s will.
Strengthen us, as United Methodist people, to live in unity amid our diversity of opinion on this and other matters.
Together, we trust your providence and power in all things. We humbly ask that you help us to navigate faithfully this time in our lives and to embody the love of Christ in all that we say and do.
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward