GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) The top policy-making body of the United Methodist Church voted this week to continue its global denomination's ban on same-sex marriages and LGBTQ clergy.
We spoke with 2 of Trinity United Methodist's pastors who both told me they were hoping for a different vote. One which would allow each church to make their own decisions on same-sex marriages and LGBTQ clergy, but still they insisted this vote will not change their message of love and acceptance.
Although they make up a small percentage of the congregation some LGBTQ persons do choose to worship at North Central Florida United Methodist Churches.
Pastor Catherine Fluck Price said, "we do at Trinity have LGBTQ persons, they are welcomed and embraced as a part of the congregation as a part of the ministry and members and leadership."
However, pastors are banned from officiating same-sex weddings explained Pastor Steve Price.
"wPer our book of discipline if we were to officiate a same-sex marriage that would put us at risk for having our orders revoked as elders and clergy of the United Methodist Church. We have been present and participated in ways the book of discipline has allowed but have never had the opportunity to officiate."
Still, Catherine and Steve price want all LGBTQ members to know just because a policy was passed to continue a ban on same-sex marriages and LGBTQ clergy, anybody is still welcome to find hope and community behind their doors.
Steve Price said, "one of the first general rules for us as Methodists and Wesleyans is do no harm and so I think some of us as clergy and laity in the churches are feeling that this action has caused harm to people in our community. So we want to make sure we are communicating the message that you are loved and valued and that we hope you will continue to come and be a part of a community with us"
Catherine Fluck Price added, "when I look at the totality of scripture I see that our God is good, that our God is all loving, that our God created every one of us to be good and therefore his love and grace extends to all."
We called three other Methodist Churches and the district office looking for other opinions but had no luck.
Steve Price told me there is a passage from the bible stating love is not arrogant, love is not rude and love does not insist on its own way. And although in this instance one part of the church did insist on their own way, he believes it's only a matter of time before United Methodist Church policies will become more open to all persons.