Home Human Rights No Weddings For Homosexuals! …Methodist Church Bishop Asserts

No Weddings For Homosexuals! …Methodist Church Bishop Asserts

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MONROVIA: The resident Bishop of the “Liberia Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church” Bishop Samuel Jerome Quire, Jr., has disclosed that the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church “will not conduct any weddings or ordinations of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.”

According to Bishop Quire, the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is traditional in its interpretation of the Holy Scrimption and will continue its evangelistic outreach to all persons who live in darkness and do not know the redemptive grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

According to the Bishop, the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is a strong church of God administering to sinners who are in need of the saving knowledge and grace of God and also it is a worldwide denomination that is making significant impart in the world.

“ Yes, there are differences of opinion and conventions across our denomination but, the mission remains the same because God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believes in him, shall not perish but have eternal life,” the Bishop quoted scripture from the Book of John 3:16 of the Holy Bible.

Addressing a News Conference at a S.T Nagbe United Methodist Church in Sinkor over the weekend, Bishop Quire cautions all clergy members as well as lay leaders and members of the Methodist Church to reframe from undermining the ministry of the church.

He expressed the belief that, undermining the ministry of the Church or the Ministry of other clergy is a chargeable offense that will be enforced for the sake of maintaining the order of the church.

Explaining how the United Methodist Church in Liberia will be operated, Bishop Quire indicated that, whether regionalization is ratified or not,
‘The Liberia annual Conference of the United Methodist Church that the church will continue to extend scripture holiness to all persons by the amazing grace of God.

He stressed that the United Methodist Church in Liberia will continue to abide by the beckoning summons of Jesus Christ which states “come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

According to him, the mission of their church is to make disciples of all nations baptizing then in the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit and to teach them to obey all that God has commanded.

“I have met with my cabinet this morning and we have pondered these decisions and will continue to discuss them adequately so as to enable us disseminate same to our various districts and circuits,” he said.

He pointed out that, they will roll out the plan of regionalization in the days, weeks and months leading to their 192nd Annual Session in February in Ganta City, Gompa District in 2024.

He said they will also have conversations with the executive committee of the Liberia Episcopal Area to “share with them the decisions of the 2024 General Conference” held in the USA “as I have shared with you today.”

Quoting a summaries of regionalization sent by one Linda B. Tate, Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops, World-wide, he said, “Regionalization will change the name of each current Central Conference into Regional Conference” and that it will transform the General Conference.

He noted that, “its agenda will no longer be dominated by United States topics. The Church in the United States will have their own regional conference in which they will deal with these matters.”

Bishop Quire added that “for too long, the more powerful parts of the Church have imposed their will upon the less powerful,” as such, “regionalization will enable the United Methodist Church in Liberia to focus on its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and not to be distracted by debates over who wants to be who.”

He further explained that regionalization is a vehicle that will enable the United Methodist Church in Liberia to make and enforce relevant policies to guide and direct their missioned priorities going forward.

He noted that, regionalization, because it amends the church’s constitution, must be ratified by the annual conferences before going into effect.

He said the modality for the ratification of regionalization will be put into place in the next six months, for further conversations, consultations and awareness throughout the Liberia Episcopal Area.

“Once the plan is ratified across all the annual conferences around the world, the Council of Bishops will announce the results and the plan will go into effect,” he said.

In his statement to the people of the United Methodist Church at the just ended General Conference of the UMC , Bishop Quire said he heard a lot of messages being shared on social and secular media about human sexuality and The United Methodist Church.

He indicated that some of those messages are misleading and very derogatory as a matter of fact, there was a group of young people who came out with placards carrying some of these demeaning messages.

According to him, instead of speaking about all these misleading pieces of information being filtering in the air about their beloved United Methodist Church, “I will focus on three decisions of the General Conference about which there is much discussion and misinformation: homosexuality, disaffiliation and regionalization.

He noted that “the General Conference voted to remove language in the United Methodist Book of Discipline, prohibiting marriage and ordination of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals in The United Methodist Church effective upon the close of the General Conference on May 3, 2024.”

He stated that, second, the General Conference voted to remove paragraph 2553, which has to do with disaffiliation (a paragraph created in 2019, after the Special General Conference, to allow churches in the United States to leave the United Methodist Church), and thirdly, the General Conference approved a plan of regionalization for the United Methodist Church which will take effect upon ratification by the annual conferences of The United Methodist Church.

According to him, these three decisions of the General Conference have caused a lot of confusion and misleading messages about what will happen in our Church.

“Let me clarify what these decisions mean and how they may affect the United Methodist Church in Liberia. First, the decision removing prohibitive language against marriage and ordination of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals in The United Methodist Church.

He noted that, in 1968, the Methodist Episcopal Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form The United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, the United States of America.

Bishop Quire, also said four years later, at the first United Methodist General Conference, a proposal to prohibit homosexual marriage and ordination was approved and placed in the Book of Discipline.

“Over the years since 1972 General Conference, United Methodists have debated this restriction with increasing intensity,” he said.

He, at the same time, disclosed that Methodist churches in Africa have held to the conviction that they do not support homosexual marriage and ordination.

He added that in 2016, the General Conference authorized and the Council of Bishops appointed a Commission on the Way Forward with mandate to bring a plan to a special General Conference in 2019 to determine how their worldwide United Methodist Church should move forward and focus on the primary mission of the Church which is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

The Commission, he noted, recommended the One Church Plan which would have allowed “traditionalists and progressives to live together in one church where churches would remove the restrictions while allowing regional flexibility on our differences on homosexual marriage and ordination.”

He said that plan did not get approved. Instead, the General Conference decided to maintain its position, prohibiting marriage and ordination of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.

“That decision created more tensions and in-fighting among United Methodists, especially in the United States,” he said.

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