Welcoming Statement of the United Methodist Church of Babylon, New York

Welcoming Statement of the United Methodist Church of Babylon, New York

We believe in God?s unconditional love and grace for ALL people.
We affirm the dignity and worth of EVERY person as created by God.

We recognize and celebrate all loving and committed personal relationships.
We believe that discrimination in any form is incompatible with Christ?s Gospel.

In this spirit, the United Methodist Church of Babylon, New York,
welcomes EVERYONE — including people of every race, ethnicity and national origin, culture, age, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability, faith history, family structure, marital status, educational background and economic status — into full participation in the life, fellowship, leadership, ministry, rituals and sacraments of our church.

Dear Friends,

As Chair of your Church Council, it is my honor to share with you the above, our official WELCOMING STATEMENT OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF BABYLON, NEW YORK that was adopted by our congregation ? in a vote of 108 ?yes? and 2 ?no? ? on Sunday, March 17, 2019 at a special, open-to-all meeting following our worship service.

In response to the decision by the Special Session of General Conferences of the worldwide United Methodist Church to strengthen discriminatory language in our church doctrine against LGBTQIA individuals, the Babylon United Methodist Church first held a special congregational meeting on Sunday, 3/3/19, to discuss what transpired.? Pastor Penny Gadzini & Richard Santoro led the discussion by sharing important information and insight, and then people were given the opportunity to ask questions and share their feelings in an open, safe, and respectful way.? The turnout (approximately 70) and engaging fellowship was wonderful, and included many of our youth.? Most importantly, we channeled our feelings into action!

Some time ago, our congregation voted to become a Reconciling Church, but we never took any further action.? So, after much dialogue and sharing, those in attendance at this meeting reaffirmed our desire to become a Reconciling Church.? And, in that spirit, it was decided that the Church Council would take the lead in drafting an official ?Welcoming Statement? which, when approved by the congregation, would be the first step in officially making us a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network.? The Church Council met on Monday, 3/4/19, drafted a statement that was presented to the congregation, feedback was offered and received, and, as stated, the proposed statement was overwhelmingly approved!? Our church was full of LOVE that day?including for the two who voted ?no?.? BUMC is truly a place for ALL so, please, spread the word!? And we invite and welcome YOU to come and experience the love and peace of Jesus Christ with us!

We also invite you to join us on Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019, at 10:45 a.m., when we will be taking a picture of the congregation that will be shared on the Reconciling Ministries Network website, alongside our Welcoming Statement.? We are asking everyone to sign up to wear a specific color of the rainbow and we will photograph us in ALL OF GOD?S COLORS, waving our palms, in unity, in solidarity, in acceptance, in joy, and in LOVE!? Please contact the Church Office (631.661.5151 or church@babylonumc.org) to sign up or for more information.

With love,

Katie Schrader
Chair, BUMC Church Council