Pastoral Statements on Recent UMC Vote

Pastoral Statement on Recent UMC Vote to Continue Ban on Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Clergy
DCC is committed to the full inclusion of all people, whatever their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and affords them full rights and responsibilities, including the right to marry and to serve at all levels of church leadership.  We consciously strive to live the radical love of Jesus and work to eradicate barriers and boundaries that exclude.  As such, we are saddened and deeply concerned regarding the recent decision by the top policy-making body of the United Methodist Church who voted this week to reinforce the global denomination’s ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy instead of lift that ban.

We recognize that such a decision will result in ongoing division within the United Methodist Church and suffering to countless LGBTQ persons and those who love them, as well as many within the denomination who are committed to a more inclusive church.  Indeed, it is a sad day for the larger Christian community that has for too long justified such exclusion biblically and theologically.

DCC stands in solidarity with those who know this to be a grave injustice and are most affected by it, pledging to pray actively for the transformation of the institution that is might more fully reflect God’s dream for the world, and work toward fuller inclusion of LGBTQ people in all sectors of church and society.
This Sunday we will be offering rainbow flag pins that we may wear them as a sign, now and in the days ahead, of a commitment to full inclusion.

-Pastors Chris Neufeld-Erdman & Pastor Mary Westfall

To friends of CA House, both near and far:

These past few days, many leaders of the United Methodist Church gathered in St. Louis, Missouri for a specially called General Conference. 864 delegates came together from all over the world to review paragraphs of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and church unity. The Commission on a Way Forward has been discerning potential plans over the past three years, and today these plans will came to a head. The One Church Plan, the only discussed plan that allowed space for the ordination of queer clergy in the UMC was defeated in committee, which in turn tightened restrictions on LGBTQ+ weddings and ordination.

As an ecumenical campus ministry to UC Davis (affiliated with the United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, and Presbyterian Church USA) that strongly affirms the belovedness and calling of all humanity regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, I want to state outright that the hateful rhetoric and misappropriations of the Bible and Christian tradition over the course of this Special General Conference is not the position of CA House. Not only do we love our LGBTQ+ neighbors in this community, but we also affirm that LGBTQ+ individuals should be welcomed to participate fully in the life and ministries of the Church.

While it may feel as though hope and justice are far away right now, exclusion and fear do not get the final word. This is not the end. Resurrection is possible.

For those of you who are people of prayer, I would ask that you pray for the community of the United Methodist Church, that they would continue to grow into their commitment to “Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors,” that it would not just be a catchphrase but a reality as we become a more inclusive and affirming Church.

To my UM siblings, please take care of yourself during this time of grief, and know that if you need a place to process or ask questions, my door is always open.


Sara Tillema
Director & Campus Minister, CA House
(530) 753-2017 ||
Pronouns: she/her/hers


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