Over my lifetime, I and my family, like many of yours, have advocated for and participated in various equality and protests movements in our land, including Civil Rights in the 50’s and 60’s, anti-war protests of the 60’s and 70’s, the Equal Rights movement of the 70’s, and now Marriage Equality of today. So today’s historical US Supreme Court landmark decision is momentous for all of us. I found myself, over these last several weeks glued to SCOTUS blogs and news streams to see if now would be the day in history when our daughter’s marriage relationship and millions of others of our sons and daughters would be recognized as legal and valid and real in our nation. Today Love Wins!!

Almost two decades ago, St. John’s on the Lake, publicly affirmed its affirmation of standing on the side of inclusivity, declared itself as a “Reconciling Congregation of the UMC”–one of the very first to do so in the whole USA. So, today is a grand day of celebration for all.

It is also a day to recognize that our day of prophetic leadership is not over. It’s time for us to reach out to those all around us in our community who need to know about a church, willing to advocate for those who want to be whole, that exists in their midst and continues to be a beacon of inclusive love for all. Over these next weeks, I hope that we can dialog about being an even more advocating body for the right for all in celebrating marriage. While, it continues to be an interpretation that it is a violation of my ordination vows to perform same sex marriage ceremonies, and it also violates church law for a congregation to celebrate same sex ceremonies, today’s SCOTUS decision seems to set the stage for us to do differently–to advocate differently. We will have prayerful reflection of what it means to be a UMC community of faith in this brand new world that today’s decision introduces us to. I hope you will fully join me in these prayerful conversations and our planning to reach out in love to our specific culture we find ourselves called to minister within.

Rev. Dr. Glenn Bosley-Mitchell, Pastor
St. John’s on the Lake, United Methodist Church