What a wonderful Pride Sunday we had on June 25! WUMCers marched in the parade, helped out behind the scenes, served cookies at PrideFest, and prayed for Pridesters.
Nancy S., who has led the WUMC Pride effort for many years, offered some words at First UMC in response to the question, “Why do I do this work?”
“A few years back, Wallingford UMC used the phrase “It’s about Love!” for their signs and stickers at Pride. And that pretty much sums up why I’m passionate about our denomination becoming a church that fulfills God’s requirement for justice, and exemplifies the extravagant love that Jesus modeled. I deeply care whether the United Methodist Church fully embraces, celebrates, and fosters the unique and amazing gifts of all persons. I care deeply about both the people in this denomination and out of this denomination.
I come from a long line of Methodists. I am the current keeper of a set of saddlebags that were once used by an ancestor who was a Methodist circuit rider. I was raised and confirmed in the Methodist Church. I met my husband at the Wesley Foundation at Purdue University. We were married in a Methodist church. We’ve raised our children with the loving support of Wallingford UMC. I am proud of the work Methodists are doing on behalf of the poor and for global health. And I embrace the value this denomination places on grace, reasoning, tradition, scripture, and experience. I self-identify as a United Methodist.
But, I also ally myself with persons who desire but are denied the identity of United Methodist. I am so grateful to God for the LGBTQI people I’ve encountered along my Methodist journey, and among the closest members of my own family. They have warmed my heart. I am inspired by their demands for justice, and I am awed by their commitment to betterment and not bitterness towards this Church.
I love the diverse members of my church community, with whom I join in worship and serve alongside. And I love with an aching heart those persons I’ve met at Conference and at Pride who long for a place to worship and to serve while still being authentic to the self that God created. For God so loves us… so I love. It’s about LOVE!”