Glendale shares message of unity, after 2019 United Methodist General Conference


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Tuesday, the United Methodist Church voted to keep its ban on gay marriage and gay clergy.

Glendale United Methodist Church in Nashville took to social media to express their disappointment; they also spoke with News 2.

“A lot of people are hurt, a lot of people are sad right now,” said Alan Whitley, Lay Leader at Glendale United Methodist Church. Whitley said he’s also gay.

This week in St. Louis, MO. church delegates from across the world gathered for a three-day conference on “human sexuality”.

The church said the purpose was to, “….to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward, authorized to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and to explore options to strengthen church unity approved a plan which continues the church’s ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.” 

At the conference, delegates approved a plan which continues the Church’s ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.

Whitley said the decision doesn’t represent the heart of many in the United Methodist Church,

“There should be a seat at the table for everyone, in the Church.”

He added that Glendale keeps the message, “You are loved – God.” on their sign outside the sanctuary.

“Its part of our open-door policy. We want to be a place that says ‘If you’ve been hurt, you are welcome here.’ We have a lot of wounded people in our Church and we’re healing those wounds.”

Others, like Rev. Maxie Dunnam, support the plan that was approved – citing the way the plan would preserve the Church’s Book of Discipline.

“The worse thing that could happen would be for us to take the language about marriage and the practice of homosexuality and ordination out of the Discipline.”

Even with those opinions Whitley said,

“There’s a lot of good things that the United Methodist Church does. I will continue to move forward and I still have hope and faith that one day I’ll be able to say, ‘I’m ordained.’ ”

Varying opinions have split the United Methodist faith between traditional and progressive practices.

“The truth is right now…if I wanted to marry my boyfriend in the United Methodist Church…I wouldn’t be allowed to do that, but we’re going to stay and make change.”

He said change starts with people like him.

“No matter who they love, no matter what gender they identify as, they are welcome here at Glendale United Methodist Church.”

Original story can be found via WKRN here. Published on 2/26/19.