Dear Editor: The United Methodist Church values its connectional system of sharing the love of Jesus Christ throughout the world. We, the members of Gaither's United Methodist Church, also value our connectional system and find it necessary to address the article appearing in The Covington News Nov. 2.
The headline reads, "UMC says transgender priest can stay" and refers to The United Methodist Church Judicial Council decision No. 1074. This decision allows Ann Gordon, who had served as pastor for five years in Baltimore, Md., to be re-appointed after receiving hormone therapy and transgender surgery. According to the ruling per the church's official Website www.umc.org, the re-appointment was allowed as the clergyperson was an ordained elder in good standing prior to the treatment and could not be terminated unless there had been administrative or judicial action.
It is our position that neither the congregation, the district superintendent nor the bishop in authority over this clergyperson appropriately intervened in this situation. Titus 1:7-9 states, "For a bishop must be blameless as a steward of God ... Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." Because of our previously mentioned connection, we, as a United Methodist Church, want to make it known that we do not agree that this clergyperson remains in good standing and has broken the honored trust warranted an ordained elder. Based on our belief in God's word and being members of The United Methodist Church connection, the members of Gaither's are developing and plan to submit a judicial complaint that we feel will result in the proper judicial action.
We at Gaither's believe the entire word of God is true and without error, that the word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit and the word of God is our example and instruction. God's word states in Romans 1:25, "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." And in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
The United Methodist Church television ads state, "We have open hearts, open minds and open doors." Gaither's hearts are open to truth Romans, (10:10) "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and the mouth confession is made unto salvation"; our minds are open to renewal, (Romans 12:2) "And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God." Our doors are open to whosoever will, (John 10:7) "then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep."
Visit our Website, www.gaithersumc.org, for updates as we live out our venture through the body of Christ, known as The United Methodist Church, a member of Christ's universal church.