On Thursday, March 28th at 7 pm, a group of clergy and laity in the NC Conference, calling themselves Sacred Witness NC, gathered for a Rally of Inclusion in the parking lot of the conference office.
Liz Roberts, the pastor at Fairmont UMC in Raleigh, NC, stated the purpose of the rally in her welcome.
“We want to acknowledge publicly the harm that has been done to our LGBTQI loved ones within the church and within the world. Because of the decisions that were made at General Conference and because of the stance we have held as a church since the 70s.
There are churches throughout our annual conference that are rising up and saying, ‘We don’t agree with this. We want our churches to be places that all people can come and live out what God has called them to do and to be.’ And so that’s why we’re here tonight.
We’re not here to be combative with people, we’re not here to do any more injury than has already been done. We’re here to lift up what God is doing in our midst.
We’re going to give honor to voices of persons who have been part of this for a long time here in the midst of us as North Carolinas who are United Methodists together.”
After witnesses shared “Why Am I Here?,” Bishop Hope Morgan Ward was invited to receive the signatures of the Sacred Witness NC petition and offer a response. As of this posting, the petition has 1382 signatures.
“Tonight is a time to renew our connection with one another, our commitment to move into the future that God is still giving The United Methodist Church.
Let us not fail to be an obedient church. Let us not fail to love one another well even across the divides. Let us respond as Jesus would respond. To live like Jesus in this time of divisiveness, not only in the life of our church but in the life of our nation and in the life of our world.”
News media was also in attendance. See more at the links below: