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lumc front 600The Lansing United Methodist Church congregation (LUMC) made it overwhelmingly clear that LGBTQIA+ persons are welcomed, affirmed, and celebrated by the congregation by adopting a Welcoming Statement on Sunday, September 22, 2019.  This vote voicing LUMC's opposition to the denomination's official stance toward LGBTQAI+ persons followed a year-long process of study and conversation led by LUMC's Reconciling Ministries Group. Ninety-eight percent of the LUMC congregation in attendance voted to ratify the statement.

The Lansing congregation joins over 1,000 other United Methodist groups, including  classes, congregations, campus ministries, annual conferences and even the whole Western Jurisdiction of the denomination in making a public statement that they welcome, affirm, and celebrate people of all sexual orientations and gender identities at all levels of their community, including participation, membership, and leadership positions. On November 18, 2019, the worldwide Reconciling Ministries Network ( recognized and welcomed Lansing United Methodist Church as a new Reconciling Congregation. LUMC is the third United Methodist congregation in Tompkins County to become part of the Reconciling Ministries Network, joining Forest Home Chapel and St. Paul's United Methodist Church.

The United Methodist Book of Discipline, a book written and reviewed every four years by the General Conference (which consists of elected clergy and lay delegates from across the worldwide denomination) establishes the rules and procedures for UM churches. Since 1972, the Discipline has included a statement that "...homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teachings." A Special Session of General Conference was called in February 2019 solely to address the denominational disagreement over human sexuality.  By a narrow margin, the 2019 Special Session of General Conference adopted a set of resolutions reiterating the Discipline's incompatibility statement and prohibitions against UM clergy participating in same-sex marriages, the ordination of "practicing" homosexuals, or teaching that contradicts the church's stated positions regarding homosexuality. Clergy who violate the Discipline can be brought to trial and lose their clergy credentials. The 2019 Special Session also passed resolutions encouraging UM annual conferences, bishops, clergy, and congregations unwilling to obey these requirements to withdraw from The United Methodist Church and form their own self-governing Methodist church by 2023.

LUMC's vote does not change the denomination's position. That can only be accomplished by a General Conference consisting of delegates from the worldwide denomination. (The next General Conference convenes in May 2020.) However, as individuals and as a congregation, LUMC can and does proclaim that people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions will find welcome, affirmation, and invitation to full participation in all the ministries of the congregation.

LUMC's Welcome Statement reads as follows:

Welcome! You are a beloved child of God; there is a place for you at Lansing United Methodist Church. Every person is of sacred worth, created in God's image, and loved equally by God.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we embrace the Methodist spirit and action expressed in "open hearts, open minds, open doors." As a Reconciling Congregation, we celebrate the rich diversity with which God has blessed all people, including all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. We believe that exclusion is incompatible with Jesus's teachings. We join the Reconciling Ministries Network to work toward the full inclusion of all persons into the church community.

We don't have to think alike, but we have faith that together we can move forward in God's love.

We welcome, affirm, and encourage full participation of people of every age, race, national origin, immigration status, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status or family structure, education or economic background and physical or mental ability. Come exactly as you are. Your presence enriches us.

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