80, 100 and 1.
For me, these were the significant numerical takeaways from Annual Conference just completed yesterday.
80% was the approval vote of both laity and clergy for our Conference to act as a One Church Conference, giving each church the permission to behave in ways regarding LGBTQ persons the way that church and pastor deem appropriate to the gospel and their mission field.
100% of the delegates elected to General Conference from our North Texas Conference, both laity and clergy, are of the centrist position that seeks to keep all persons at the table in the vital discussions to be had at General Conference in 2020. We are the only Conference thus far to be this strong in this centrist stance.
1 is the inheritance given to all by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul speaks passionately about this in Romans 8:14-17. He is partially addressing the question by Jewish Christians about those deemed outsiders to their long-held customs and beliefs. In writing this letter (his last and most developed theological thought) Paul makes the case that NOTHING can separate us - any of us - from the singular love of God in Christ Jesus. I will be talking more about that this Sunday, but for now I offer God thanks for being part of a Conference who believes it, and of a church who lives it.
Grateful to be your pastor,