IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - St. Mark's United Methodist Church made a bold statement Tuesday to the worldwide denomination explaining they will still accept those from the LGBTQ community.
St. Marks United Methodist Church sends a statement to Worldwide denomination
This comes after the Worldwide United Methodist Church reaffirmed its policy in March. They will not perform weddings for those in the LGBTQ community, being openly gay is not compatible with teaching Christianity and no pastor can be part of the LGBTQ community.
“How I live my life isn’t compatible with Christian teachings? That’s pretty brutal,” Katie Freeman, of Coralville, said.
Freeman is part of the LGBTQ community. She’s been married for nearly 10 years and has been practicing her faith for the last seven years under the United Methodist Church denomination. She moved to the area from California.
Freeman said when she first came here it wasn’t easy to find a church.
“All of the churches said they accept everyone, but that just wasn’t the case,” Freeman said. “Some of the church congregations were mean. It wasn’t until I saw rainbow stoles draped over a cross in the entrance that I knew everyone was truly accepted.”
The St. Mark's congregation passed a vote in 2013 saying they would accept those from the LGBTQ community. So, when the Worldwide denomination stated they will not, it made Freeman step into action.
“This is the first time I had to stand up for something I believe in,” Freeman said.
Comparing herself to the reformer Martian Luther, Freeman wrote the statement that would be sent to the Worldwide United Methodist Church stating that St. Mark's will continue to accept those from the LGBTQ community.
Doing so could come with consequences and future changes to the church. Pastors that speak of accepting those who are openly gay or holding a marriage could lose their position. Pastor Sarah Rohert said that’s not something she’s worried about.
“We need to stand by the families that we have in our church,” Rohert said. “We might have to evaluate whether we can stay in the United Methodist Church depending on future meetings or denominations.”
Rohert said she needs to do this for everyone in her church including Freeman.
“All of us are children of God,” Freeman said. “We need to spread the word of acceptance.”