Thursday, January 2, 2014


In 1989, my mother and grandmother were members of the Grace United Methodist Church here in town. I started attending church with them and also became a member that year.

I was raised in the Christian Church in my youth and later my family attended the Presbyterian Church in Cleveland. I was raised with good values and acceptance. No prejudices. I don't like bigots or racists.

I attended church regularly until I started working for the State of Ohio when I hardly ever had a Sunday off work. After my mother died in 2005, I was put on the inactive membership roll of the church.

In May of this year, I read about the Methodist Conference held in Tampa, Florida where they took a vote of the delegates regarding acceptance of the LBGT community. They voted against it.

In the news recently, there was a story about Methodist Pastor Frank Schaefer of Norristown, Pennsylvania. He performed a wedding ceremony for his son in the State of Massachusetts in 2007. Nothing was said about it until now. I guess politics stirred things up, and one person in his Methodist congregation filed a complaint against him when he/she learned of Schaefer's son's same-sex wedding.

His jury of Methodist pastors condemned him for his actions and when Schaefer refused to renounce what he did for his son, Schaefer was defrocked and stripped of his pastor's credentials in the Methodist Church. That incident got me thinking – long and hard.

I made a decision, based upon my feelings and beliefs. I typed a resignation of membership letter and delivered it to the pastor of Grace church on Thursday, December 26. When I spoke to him, we discussed my reasons, which were outlined in my letter. He said the denomination was in great turmoil right now over this issue, and he understood why I made my decision. He recommended I go talk to the pastor of the Presbyterian Church here in town, which I did the next day, because our views would be more in tune.
I learned from talking to the pastor there that their denomination was all accepting and reminded me of my young adolescent upbringing.

Sunday, December 29, I attended the church service at the Presbyterian Church and felt more at home. More like the services I was raised with, and when the Doxology and Apostle's Creed was recited by the congregation, I was able to say them from memory, from my past.

I'm sure I will return to visit them again next Sunday, in search of a new home.

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