DC’s Foundry United Methodist Church has a rich history. It’s the church attended by the Clintons when Bill was president. And, the Church and its Senior Minister, Rev. Dean Snyder, are now taking a leading role in changing the United Methodist Church’s position on same sex-marriage. There was major progress in that direction over the weekend. From Washington Post:
The Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church narrowly approved a groundbreaking same-sex marriage resolution Saturday, setting the stage for a high-stakes vote on the matter at the national conference next year.
The resolution, passed at the church’s annual local conference, would amend the church’s Book of Discipline to allow pastors to perform same-sex marriages and ceremonies in member churches in jurisdictions where legislatures already have approved gay marriage laws, such as the District.
Before taking effect, the measure requires approval from a majority of the 1,000 delegates at the General Conference next April in Tampa.
About 800 members from 650 churches in the District and parts of Maryland and West Virginia participated in the vote Saturday, said Shaun Lane, communications director for the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The show-of-hands vote was close enough that members were asked to vote a second time, Lane said.
Currently, the UMC’s “Book of Discipline,” which is the church’s guiding document, states “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.” It is also prohibits any UMC minister to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies and it also prohibits any UMC church house from being used in the celebration of these same-sex ceremonies. Foundry wants to change that — and the Post noted the role played by Foundry in this recent development:
The outcome surprised and delighted members of Washington’s Foundry United Methodist, which developed the resolution but did not expect it to be approved, said Rev. Dean Snyder. Of Foundry’s 1,300 members, roughly one-fourth to one-third are openly homosexual, Sndyer said.
“We presented the resolution as an occasion to have a conversation. Frankly, I didn’t think it would pass,” Snyder said. “This is very exciting, very moving.”
Another signal that the trendline is moving in the right direction.
Basically, this is only the first step in the process. Foundry’s Snyder will travel to advocate for changing the same-sex marriage policy at next year’s General Conference, which happens once every four years. This coming Sunday, June 5th, Foundry is hosting a fundraiser and the first public event to officially launch its “Open Doors Fund.” The event will be held at Mitchell Gold/Bob Williams store on 14th Street NW here in DC from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.