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Inclusion at Highland

We recognize that as children of God all people are of sacred worth. Because Christ has opened the church to all people, we fully welcome, accept, and affirm each and every person into full fellowship, without regard to their age, economic class, educational level, gender identity, marital status, mental ability, nationality, physical ability, race, or sexual orientation. It will be our position to support the candidacy and ordination of qualified persons regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Likewise, we will support the rights of the clergy of Highland UMC to perform marriages for all couples who seek to be married.

Our congregation is in final steps of becoming a reconciling church, a formal member of Reconciling Ministries Network.

All are welcome at Highland UMC!!

 

Background

The United Methodist Church has struggled with questions around sexual orientation for decades. The current official position of the denomination forbids the ordination of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals, United Methodist clergy are not allowed to perform same sex marriages, and same sex marriages cannot be performed in United Methodist church facilities. The North Carolina Conference voted last June to support actions by General Conference that would change the current Discipline in favor of full inclusion for LGBTQIA+ individuals, both in terms of ordination and marriage ceremonies. The next General Conference has been postponed until the end of August 2022, but these questions remain before our denomination.

For several years, Highland UMC has been having conversations about human sexuality and Christian teaching. We’ve spent time studying the Bible, talking in the Sunday School hours and on Wednesday nights gathered around tables in the Conference Room. In February of 2020, Highland’s Church Council passed an Inclusion statement and asked the Congregation to give feedback and to vote on whether or not to adopt the statement. Due to Covid, that vote did not take place until the fall of 2020. With over 260 votes cast, the statement passed with an 80% vote in our church community.

In May 2021, Highland voted as a congregation to become a reconciling church and join Reconciling Ministries Network. (271 votes received, 82% in favor) Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) has been actively involved within the United Methodist Church working for the full inclusion of the LGBTQ Community into the life and service of the UMC.

Frequently Asked Questions about RMN

Answering Questions

We've received lots of questions about RMN and Highland's interest in it, so a few of our lay leaders have put together a video helping to offer answers and help describe Highland's journey thus far.

Why This Matters

Several Highland members shared their own stories and why Highland's move towards becoming a reconciling church matters to them.