3900 King Street Alexandria VA 22302 (703)671-8557 email@example.com
February 12, 2013
Dear Congregational Family:
This email is to share the outcome of our congregational vote on whether Fairlington United Methodist Church should become a Reconciling Congregation through the adoption of this welcoming statement:
"Fairlington United Methodist Church proclaims without reservation God’s unconditional love and grace, and affirms the dignity and worth of every person as created in the image of God. We commit to extend Christ’s gospel hospitality, creating a place of safety and spiritual sanctuary for all people. Therefore, this community of faith welcomes into membership, participation and leadership all persons regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, family structure, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic background, political affiliation, physical or mental ability, faith history, or life experience. We recognize among us differences in theology and biblical interpretation, and covenant to accept, respect, and love one another along our faith journeys. As God loves us, so let us love one another.”
There were 399 votes cast by professing members, with 373 voting yes (93.5%) and 26 voting no (6.5%); thus, our congregation has voted affirmatively to become a Reconciling Congregation.
I thank Cindy Davis, Dave Boltz, and Diane Charles who served as vote counters, each independently counting the votes and each unaffiliated with the Reconciling Committee.
The pastors and lay leaders decided to send this announcement out as soon as practical to let individuals process the outcome of the vote in their own way and out of consideration for those who have a particular interest in knowing the decision. I will make a more formal presentation at the beginning of each Service this Sunday.
I thank the Reconciling Committee for their faithful work in leading the congregation through the discernment process, and equally thank everyone in the congregation for participating in the process and for the many members who voted.
We look to God's guidance for how we, as a Reconciling Congregation, can share better God's unconditional love and hospitality to all people, particularly those who often have felt unaccepted in the church. Please watch the newsletter, bulletin, and website for more information about the next steps on this journey.
In Christ and on Behalf of the Church Council,
George Peach Taylor, Jr., MD
Church Council Chair
A bit of background:
In November 2011, Fairlington United Methodist Church (FUMC), entered into a discernment process about whether to become a Reconciling Congregation. At its core, a Reconciling Congregation is one that adopts a public statement, welcoming all families and individuals, and specifically welcoming persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The adoption of the statement was voted on in January/February 2013.