The North Carolina Conference chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action stands with those who seek a more just society in particular when it comes to law enforcement’s relationship with communities of color. From Michael Brown to George Floyd there has been a string of incidents of excessive force used on men of color, primarily African American men, and, in some cases, African American women, often resulting in death.
We call on the church to call on those in authority for police accountability and better training in deescalation. As the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said, “A riot is the voice of the unheard. We need to listen.” And that does include having some uncomfortable conversations in our primarily white congregations about race.
As Micah 6:8 said …
Whereas lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (LGBTQ+) are of sacred worth, and are deserving of full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church; and
Whereas the amendments made to the Book of Discipline through the “Traditional Plan” denigrates LGBTQ+ people who are called into ordained ministry by disqualifying them from ordination in the United Methodist Church simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, per Petition 90036 and Petition 90043; and
Recent statements by presidential candidates and other politicians concerning our Muslim neighbors has caused a new of wave of Islamophobia. We deplore statements suggesting we ban Muslims from entering the United States or calling for surveillance and closing of mosques or saying no to admitting Syrian refugees, or even going beyond water boarding in dealing with terrorist suspects. But to have a faith leader such as Jerry Falwell's son who now leads Liberty University to encourage students to carry concealed weapons and "end Muslims" goes beyond the pale of reason and sends a chilling message. And he is not the first faith leader to engage such hate speech.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Division, anger, and pain are present throughout our communities, and emotions of separateness and otherness are felt deeply, but we are not called to be a people divided, we are called to be the Body of Christ. At this hour, the hands and feet of Christ are needed.
Jesus is calling, calling each of us to be a radical presence of love, of justice, of healing in the midst of communities where this is absent. In the face of division, we are called to lean into relationships that cross boundaries. In the face of anger, we are called to listen for the brokenness and pain that lie beneath the anger. In the midst of pain, we are called to sit alongside as a healing presence that bears, that hopes, that endures in abiding love.
Statement on recent Judicial Council Rulings with Bishop Reverend Dr. Karen Oliveto
And requiring boards of ordained ministry to ask questions about one’s sexuality
The North Carolina Conference chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action expresses deep concern with regards to the recent ruling by the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church with the regards to Reverend Dr. Karen Oliveto who currently serves as Bishop of the Mountain Sky Conference in the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. To nullify or rule void her consecration as a bishop of The United Methodist Church even they followed the procedures according to the guidelines of the church and those present knew who she was is an affront word of God.