Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Recommended Reading: Norwegian United Methodists Decide to Apologize to LGBT+ People

The Norway Annual Conference, during a COVID-delayed meeting last week, decided to issue a public apology to LGBT+ persons, part of a process in the Norway Annual Conference that is intended to result in full inclusion of LGBT+ persons in the life of the church. An article on the church's website announcing the decision described it as follows:

"Ole-Einar Andersen was the original proponent of an apology for the treatment LGBT+ people have been subjected to in the Methodist Church and the damage individuals have suffered. There was a long debate where many took the floor. Everyone agreed on the need to apologize where injustice has been done to individuals, but a minority did not want to apologize for the church's traditional teachings.

"In an amendment proposal from Kirsti Dahl Johansen, Andersen's intention was supported, but the actual formulation of the text will be left to the [annual conference] Executive Board and the cabinet. The conference wanted to give the Executive Board and the Cabinet time to formulate the apology for the treatment LGBT+ people have been subjected to and to weigh the text for the process [the annual conference is] in.

"A sentence in Andersen's original proposal was cited by many as a good starting point: 'We acknowledge that through condemnatory attitudes and actions we have inflicted great harm, pain, sorrow and suffering on fellow human beings, contrary to the gospel of God's unconditional grace and love for all.

"A proposal to postpone consideration of the proposal was rejected.

"The amendment received 70 votes in favor, 32 voted against and 6 abstained. Two proposals to temporarily lift restrictions on marriage and ordination of LGBT+ people in the Methodist Church, and reject restrictions adopted in the worldwide [Traditional] Plan, were postponed earlier today to the first annual conference after the next general conference.

"It was the annual conference in 2019 that took an important path in a consensus decision where it was stated that the Methodist Church in Norway is on its way to full inclusion of LGBT + people."

Translated from the Norwegian by Google Translate and David W. Scott

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