A response to the outcome of General Conference from the Board of Two Rivers

To our beloved community:

In the summer of 2017, a group of twelve strangers came together for the first time to explore a dream God placed in our hearts. As we discerned the movement of the Spirit, our mission became clear—we were called to cultivate new expressions of the gospel for all those searching for a place to belong. From that small group we have grown into the congregation we know today as Two Rivers, a United Methodist Community.

For decades, The United Methodist Church has not been of one mind regarding the equity and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in the life of the church. Over the past four days, delegates to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference gathered to examine our denomination’s policies concerning human sexuality and explore options for a way forward that would unify the church. Despite the best efforts of many who have committed themselves to unifying our church, delegates from United Methodist churches across the globe were unable to pass legislation that provided a path to do so. Instead, a plan was passed which affirms and in some cases strengthens the church’s current policies.

In pursuit of our mission, we established five core values that flow from our shared commitment to live in the way of Jesus—to be authentic, vulnerable, inclusive, creative, and beautiful. To that end, our leadership team is wholly committed to equity and inclusion for LGBTQIA+ people in the life of the Church without exception. We find The United Methodist Church’s policies regarding human sexuality to be exclusionary, divisive, and incompatible with Christian teaching. We repent for the harm The United Methodist Church has inflicted on our LGBTQIA+ siblings by refusing to affirm their sacred worth without exception, and we humbly ask for their forgiveness.

Today, we renew our commitment to the values that shape our community and the work that is before us. We will not falter in our commitment to equity and inclusion for the people of God and we will not be afraid to speak and act at such a time as this. In the coming weeks, our leadership team will gather and hold opportunities for our community to learn, speak, and be heard as we develop a plan that enables us to move forward in pursuit of our mission—to cultivate new expressions of the gospel for all searching for a place to belong – no exceptions.

We will never cease to preach the inclusive gospel of Jesus. Even now, the Spirit moves among us. Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Peace be with you,

Charles Monteith
Chair of the Board
Two Rivers, a United Methodist Community