Sat04192014

Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist bucks church stance on gays

The Church Council and pastoral staff of Los Altos United Methodist Church have publicly stated their opposition to decisions on homosexuality rendered last month at the United Methodist General Conference.

United Methodists at their annual conference in Tampa, Fla., reaffirmed the church’s current stance that all persons are “individuals of sacred worth (however, the church) does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.”

The assembly rejected a proposed amendment to church principles urging “unity and co-existence in spite of opposing views on homosexuality.”

Los Altos United Methodist church representatives disagreed with the decision.

“We reject the recent decisions by the United Methodist General Conference to continue to withhold fundamental rights and privileges from the (gay) community,” Senior Pastor Mark S. Bollwinkel and Church Council Chairwoman Margie Gong wrote in a statement released last week. “We believe all persons are children of God and we welcome all, regardless of age, cultural background, disabilities, ethnicity, financial circumstances, gender identity, marital status or sexual orientation.”

The annual conference members’ decisions had prompted gay members to disrupt the conference proceedings by taking to the floor singing “What Does the Lord Require of You?” The conference drew nearly 1,000 delegates from around the nation and the world.

“We affirm the words of Micah 6:8: ‘And what does the Lord require of you, but to act justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’” Bollwinkel and Gong said. “It is our hope that we can be living and loving examples for change for our larger denomination as we strive to touch heaven and change earth with head, heart and hands.”

For more information, visit www.laumc.org.

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