UMFS Statement on A Way Forward

January 21, 2020

Over the past several years, United Methodists around the world have been focused on A Way Forward and its implications for the future of The United Methodist Church. A Way Forward refers to the Church’s stance on human sexuality, and the issue of LGBTQ clergy and marriage is an issue that for many years has created a divide and strong convictions in our religious community. The debate and process have become very public. When major news outlets report what I consider to be often-sensationalized stories, I routinely receive calls and emails from friends and colleagues who are and aren’t United Methodist.

During this time, UMFS has had discussions with our Board, Virginia Conference leadership, and our attorney, who’s also Chancellor of the Virginia Annual Conference. We’ve carefully considered the potential impact on the Church and our organization. The future journey of the Church is not clear, and may or may not become clear after the General Conference of The United Methodist Church in May.

But what is clear is that whatever happens, UMFS will stay focused on our mission to be unwavering champions for all children and families. We will continue to promote a community of diversity, and UMFS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, religion, or economic background. We believe it is our responsibility to encourage open communication and have crucial conversations based on mutual respect, empathy, and love. We believe in a bright future for all children and families, and we will relentlessly pursue solutions for this outcome.

Greg Peters, UMFS President and CEO