Dear Church of the Saviour Family,
We are a family!  I remember as a child getting into knock down drag out fights with my baby brother. He would yell at me, I would break his stuff, he would throw something at my head, I would duck…regardless of the instigator, I would whine to my mother in order to get him in trouble. Ahh, the good old days! However, even with award winning dramatic whines and cries to my mother, she would always tell me, “Jennifer, you and your brother need to learn to get along!” Families love, fight, forgive, laugh, cry, live – at the end of the day, no matter what – we are family! Church families are the same. When we claim to be followers of Jesus, we become a part of the body of Christ, we are family. And as a family, we get into arguments.  

We say hurtful things. Heck, we might even throw things from time to time! We worship together and greet one another with the Peace of Christ.  We also divide and whine and try to get others in trouble. It is real. Church families – love, fight, forgive, laugh, cry, live – at the end of the day, no matter what – we are family! When the fight became heated or the family was frazzled or looking toward something new or major; my momma would order us all into the kitchen for a FAMILY MEETING! So Church, it is time for a FAMILY MEETING over the church divide and human sexuality. I am inviting you to come to the table to talk, even though it might be uncomfortable and tough. You are being invited to lean into or find your vulnerability; and to listen with the same passion with which you want to be heard. I will be hosting multiple FAMILY MEETINGS in the month of April. Each gathering will have the same format and guided conversation.

Dates of the Family Meetings: Tuesday, April 2 at 10:00 am Sunday, April 7 at 6:30 pm (all youth, parents and adults invited) Monday, April 8 at 6:30 pm Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 pm.  The goal of our Family Meetings:
  1. To give insight and understanding of the decision made at the Special General Conference in February.
  2. To have meaningful conversations in round table discussions. Even when we disagree, we can listen and respond in love and grace.
  3. To acknowledge the brokenness of the church.
  4. To acknowledge the widespread views of our church family.
  5. To discuss what is next.

Much like our denomination, our own Church of the Saviour family is not necessarily of one mind concerning the marriage and ordination of LGBTQ persons. There are many who are hurt and wounded by the General Conference’s vote. Many of you have expressed grief for the LGBTQ community in our church family and beyond. Many have expressed to me a desire to leave the church because they feel we have now labeled people as second-class citizens and told our LGBTQ community they are not welcome in our churches.  Still others in our church family feel affirmed by the ruling, and some are simply confused by what this all means. Many have been asking, “What does this mean for Church of the Saviour?”

What will NOT happen at our Family Meetings:

  1. We will not argue “a side” or try and persuade someone to come to the “other side”.

Moment of Pastoral Privilege: What is happening in our church and denomination is new territory for me as a pastor. I am prayerfully discerning how I am being called to lead the church family. I know it is first with love and grace. I have never been oblivious to the fact the church is broken. It is made up of human people who are broken and sinful. I am not shocked by the divide we are experiencing over human sexuality.  This is not new, but what is new is the hate, gushing wounds, brokenness, name calling, posturing, and loss of hope being expressed and experienced from all sides. This is new. BUT, I do believe in a resurrected LORD. I know God works in the deep divides and there is power in our brokenness. We have a Healer, one who repairs. God is still breathing. God is still working. God makes all things beautiful, especially in the broken. All from His grace.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Is. 43:1

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30

I look forward to being with you at our Family Meetings.

Humbly Yours,
Pastor Jenn