Kids doing the right thing: An entire confirmation class at a United Methodist church in Nebraska is refusing to join the church because of anti-gay policies.
Religion News Service reports:
United Methodists across the U.S. have protested the global denomination’s crackdown on LGBTQ members in all kinds of ways.
But now a group of teens in a confirmation class at a historic United Methodist church in the Midwest has taken the unprecedented step of refusing to join the church.
Eight teenagers, aged 13 and 14, who make up this year’s confirmation class at First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Neb., stood before the congregation on Confirmation Sunday (April 28) and read a letter saying they do not want to become members at this time.
The teens said they took their stand on principle because they believed the denomination’s vote to uphold and strengthen its ban on LGBTQ ordination and marriage to be “immoral” and “unjust.”
In case you needed a reason to believe that this generation will save us all, here it is. The entire confirmation class at First United Methodist Omaha decided not to join at this time in protest of the UMC’s anti lgbtq+ policies. �❤️ pic.twitter.com/mDjwMTu9ZJ
— Sheri Shuler (@SheriShuler) April 28, 2019
The following is an excerpt from the letter the eight teenagers, aged 13 and 14, presented to the congregation:
Most of us started the confirmation year assuming that we would join the church at the end, But with the action of the general conference in February, we are disappointed about the direction the United Methodist denomination is heading.We are concerned that if we join at this time, we will be sending a message that we approve of this decision. We want to be clear that, while we love our congregation, we believe that the United Methodist policies on LGBTQ+ clergy and same sex marriage are immoral.
Depending on how this church responds to the general conference action, we will decide at a later time whether or not to become officially confirmed. But until then, we will continue to stand up against the unjust actions that the denomination is taking. We are not standing just for ourselves, we are standing for every single member of the LGBTQ+ community who is hurting right now. Because we were raised in this church, we believe that if we all stand together as a whole, we can make a difference.
Recently the United Methodist Church voted to strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriage, a decision which left many Methodists disappointed, including, apparently, the teens participating in the confirmation class.
Bottom line: Showing a courage and moral clarity that many adults lack, a group of teens in Nebraska refused to join a United Methodist church in Nebraska because of their anti-gay policies.