Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Sometimes You Gotta Take a Risk

I salute my colleagues at Dumbarton UMC in Washington. Here is the story.
A United Methodist congregation in Washington, D.C., has vowed to celebrate same-sex weddings, putting itself at odds with other Christian churches protesting the District of Columbia 's new marriage equality law.

The pastor and 12 other ordained clergy who attend Dumbarton United Methodist Church in Georgetown said they would conduct such ceremonies after Congress failed to override D.C.'s new law on March 3. The larger United Methodist Church does not permit same-sex weddings, and no other Methodist congregation in Washington has taken the same step.

The Methodists are even more superstitious than Presbyterians in regards to LGBT equality. This means that the risk is larger for these clergy. But that is what the job is about. Rev. Mary Kay Totty knows it:

"As a pastor, I am called to extend care and grace to all people even as Jesus did," said Rev. Mary Kay Totty, pastor at the 238-year-old church. "We celebrate love and loyalty wherever it is found."

....Totty said the church is aware the clergy are at risk by performing same-sex weddings in a denomination that does not sanction them. "However," she said, "marriage equality is about justice and civil rights. The District of Columbia acknowledges that it is wrong to discriminate against people based upon sexual orientation."

Recognizing such marriages is a logical step for the District's oldest Methodist congregation, she said. In 1987 Dumbarton publicly welcomed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families into full participation in the life and ministries of the congregation. With the new policy, couples wanting to be married will meet with the pastor to discuss the church's marriage guidelines and to discuss counseling. "We rejoice that at this point in history, the arc of justice now bends toward equal recognition of marriage for all couples," said Totty.

You got it, Rev. Totty. You are brick of the day.

Read the congregation's statement on marriage equality.