After historic May 1, 2024, United Methodist vote for LGBTQ inclusion—millions of members are challenged to ‘widen the circle’

Our authors join with church leaders in welcoming LGBTQ+ friends nationwide

FIRST—After a historic decision by a global gathering of United Methodist leaders on May 1, millions of members of America’s third-largest are challenged to figure out what it means to openly welcome LGBTQ+ persons to their more than 20,000 congregations across the U.S.

THEN, WE SHARE—HOW OUR AUTHORS CAN HELP. Scroll down, below the news summary, to learn about inspirational and information-packed books—starting with a 2-minute video produced by Susan Stitt.

First the news:

What just happened? United Methodist global leaders move toward LGBTQ+ inclusion across the U.S.

The news made headlines nationwide. Here is a selection of that news coverage, chosen because of the helpful insights in these stories:

The New York Times headline: United Methodist Church Reverses Ban on Practicing Gay Clergy—church leaders also voted to allow LGBTQ weddings.

Excerpt: “We’ve always been a big-tent church where all of God’s beloved were fully welcome,” said Bishop Tracy Smith Malone, the new president of the denomination’s Council of Bishops and the first Black woman to serve in that role. She called the vote “a celebration of God breaking down walls.”

The Associated Press: United Methodists repeal longstanding ban on LGBTQ clergy.

Excerpt: Delegates voted 692-51 at their General Conference—the first such legislative gathering in five years. That overwhelming margin contrasts sharply with the decades of controversy around the issue. Past General Conferences of the United Methodist Church had steadily reinforced the ban and related penalties amid debate and protests, but many of the conservatives who had previously upheld the ban have left the denomination in recent years, and this General Conference has moved in a solidly progressive direction.

CNN: United Methodist Church lifts 40-year ban on LGBTQ clergy

Excerpt: After the vote, retired United Methodist Bishop Hope Morgan Ward prayed the church would be used as “peacemakers and servants” and be “welcoming all people into the embrace of God.”

Michigan United Methodist News: General Conference Delegates Pass Revised Social Principles

Excerpt:  The Social Principles help United Methodists frame, with simpler language, how we’ve always paired faith with action. “This is one of the unique things about The United Methodist Church,” said the Rev. Megan Walther, clergy delegate from Michigan’s Clarkston United Methodist Church, “and our Social Principles outline what we believe, and then congregations are invited to take action. So, if we say we care about creation, that invites us to think about what we are going to do to protect it. … In an election year, it’s especially good for us as United Methodists to practice having difficult conversations on things we disagree with. And if the Social Principles provide an avenue for us to have difficult conversations, that is a blessing.”

Journalist Bill Tammeus: The United Methodists get this issue right—finally

Excerpt: So slowly Christian churches are abandoning the bogus idea that the Bible condemns homosexual orientation.

CNN: ‘A better church is possible:’ Methodists celebrate as the church embraces the LGBTQ

Excerpt: “This change in our church law is so huge because it means that folks can choose to show up as who they really are and still choose to serve God,” said the Rev. Andi Woodworth, a United Methodist minister from Atlanta.

United Methodist News Service:  40-year ban on gay clergy struck down

Excerpt: Mountain Sky Area Bishop Karen Oliveto said, “Today, we celebrate this historic vote,” she said. “Tomorrow, we will continue to work together. To learn from one another. To stand with one another. To continue to widen the circle so that those on the margins of church and society can find a home.”


Then, here’s the help we can provide:

Please, enjoy this 2-minute video overview …

Amazon links follow this video. And—if you want to contact our authors to inquire about public speaking, a podcast conversation, or a possible Zoom appearance with your small group or congregation—

Please, email our Front Edge Publishing director of outreach programs Susan Stitt.

[email protected]

Amazon Links

Clicking on this collage of book covers will take you to our Front Edge Publishing Catalog page.

To jump to Amazon right now—

Changing Our Mind

Changing Our Mind (Spanish edition)

A Letter to My Congregation

Michigan State University School of Journalism Bias Busters:
100 Questions and Answers about Gender Identity

MSU Bias Busters:
100 Questions and Answers about Sexual Orientation

The Word Made Fresh

Introducing Christian Ethics

Solus Jesus

Embracing Love

Blue Ocean Faith

Sanctuary—Queering a Church in the Heartland—will be coming soon from Amazon. Right now, if you are interested in this upcoming book about the inclusive journey of a small church in Iowa: Email our Front Edge Publishing director of outreach programs Susan Stitt. [email protected]

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  1. Patty J Thompson says

    Amazing Video by Susan Stitt – love the 2 minute video.
    Great links to the articles.

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  3. Karen King says

    Thank you for the cover story and excerpts of news stories about this historic, long-awaited, and overdue event. As a life long UMC member, I am very happy the General Conference finally removed the discriminatory anti LGBTQ language from their rules and laws. I know it was a decision fraught with strife. I do mourn the loss of so many congregations in the US in advance and anticipation of the move, however. Keep up the excellent work on the blog!