First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh, PA
5401 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232
February 18, 2019
The First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh affirms that God’s grace is available to all. We prayerfully seek to openly welcome all of God’s children regardless of Christian perspective, education, economic condition, race, gender, national origin, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or marital status. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons, independent of society’s regard. God blesses us all so that together we can be God’s instruments of blessing to the world.
To the Western PA Delegates to General Conference 2019:
We will be praying for the General Conference and for you as delegates while you corporately and individually discern the Holy Spirit’s leading at this critical time. We recognize that God’s Spirit is alive in you, and we are grateful for your service as you address holy questions.
As a Reconciling Congregation, the First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh works to live into the hospitality statement printed above. We envision a United Methodist denomination that encourages congregations across the connection to fully embrace all people, including those traditionally shunned by society. In the future, we hope our clergy will be permitted to celebrate same gender marriages and our churches will be able to lovingly host those weddings. We also pray for changes that will enable all United Methodists who are called to ordained ministry to fulfill their calling within our denomination. We recognize that there is genuine thoughtful opposition to these ideas, and we believe that honest and open dialogue is necessary to help The UMC discern where God’s Spirit rests in these matters.
In that spirit, we have carefully examined the plans which have been submitted to General Conference 2019, and we do not think the Traditionalist or Modified Traditionalist Plans are reasonable options. To varying degrees, three of the plans seem to support the vision described above: The Connectional Conference Plan, The One Church Plan, and The Simple Plan. Although we recognize that all three have shortcomings, we believe the One Church Plan is a good compromise which moves the denomination toward a refreshing new form of unity. This Plan encourages all congregations to discern ministries God is leading them to undertake, within the church’s context.
We ask you to consider what is best for ALL of God’s children, including the LGBTQIA+ people who are currently worshiping in many congregations but who are not fully welcomed by The United Methodist Church. We encourage you to support the One Church Plan.
Grace and Peace,
Leadership Council Members of First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh, PA