LGBTQI+ Inclusion

Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church is committed to loving God and loving neighbor with our whole selves - heart, mind, soul, and strength. As Jesus loved those around him, we believe that all persons are of sacred worth and dignity as part of God’s creation. We welcome all persons into the full life and ministry of our congregation, regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or socioeconomic status, education, politics, physical or mental ability, or faith history.

In 1972, The United Methodist Book of Discipline was amended to include language that specifically excludes homosexuals. Over the years, Glenn has actively sought ways to respond to this exclusionary issue.

In 2004, the Naomi Circle submitted a resolution at the North Georgia Annual Conference calling to eliminate the discipline’s language. While it did not pass, it was a step forward in awareness.

In 2011, after a group of retired United Methodist bishops wrote a letter urging the removal of language from the Book of Discipline that discriminates against homosexuals, Glenn formed The Common Table to prayerfully research, review, and discuss feelings surrounding the retired bishops letter. After almost a year of dialogue together, The Common Table drafted a statement of support and Glenn established the Rainbow Advocacy Group to discern its continuing role regarding the issue of homosexuality in the church.

Rainbow Advocacy worked diligently to educate Glenn about the Reconciling Ministries Network and the possibility of becoming a Reconciling Church. Glenn hosted speakers and lecturers on the topic, held a three-week book study, and offered four listening sessions as avenues for conversation and discussion.

In October of 2014, Glenn held a Church Conference to vote on becoming a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network. The vote passed by 87%. It was quite obvious from the turnout of our membership for this important decision, and by the speakers who spoke both in favor and in opposition to the motion, that the life and ministry of Glenn is a central concern and commitment to every person gathered.

Glenn’s journey to reconciliation has been long, but marked with much dialogue, discovery, and in recent years, significant milestones. 2015 has revealed another such milestone: Glenn was awarded the Emory University Office of LGBTQ Life’s Outstanding Ally of the Year Award. At Emory’s 23rd annual Pride Awards on March 3, Glenn was recognized for its creation of an inclusive, respectful and safe climate for the Emory LGBTQ community. What an amazing acknowledgment of Glenn’s efforts to promote equality and understanding and yet another example of Emory and Glenn’s long standing and strong partnership.

Beginning 2019, Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church welcomes weddings for all couples who wish to plan a church wedding. Our church is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, and we are happy for our hospitality to extend to couples of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Our Sanctuary and Little Chapel may be used as venue for same-sex weddings because the buildings in which they are located are owned by Emory University rather than by the church. Glenn welcomes and works with visiting clergy to celebrate holy unions of all kinds, including same-sex weddings. Please note that the senior pastor is ultimately responsible for determining the appropriateness of all arrangements and details of any wedding. See our wedding brochure for more information.

Glenn is, has been and will continue to be a place of openness and welcome as we strive to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. May God guide us into the future as we seek to be a community of faith dedicated to loving God and loving neighbor.

For more information about the Rainbow Advocacy Group or if you would like to get involved, contact Bill and Robin Clark.