First UMC Colorado Springs to launch Prairie Campus on April 14
March 01, 2019
Submitted by the Rev. Patty Walker
Pastor, Prairie Campus
First United Methodist Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado
In the aftermath of General Conference 2019, it is a joy for many of us to be planting open-minded, inclusive, Christ-centered new worshipping communities in the Mountain Sky Conference. Even before General Conference 2019, many of us have been on fire to reach new people with the Gospel, but now an even greater flame has been lit! At First United Methodist Church of Colorado Springs, we are excited to be in the midst of becoming a multi-site congregation, launching the FUMC Prairie Campus (out on the eastern plains of Colorado Springs) on April 14. In the wake of all the publicity from GC 2019, I have received numerous questions about how this new church will live out its communal life and witness. Here is one such email I received this week:
"I had been looking forward to coming to church on April 14th as we’ve been looking for a church for a long time and I’ve found the UMC to be welcoming and open minded. But I’m so disappointed in the results of the voting at the national meeting. I must tell you I have many, many close friends and family who are gay. Being involved in their lives and stories makes it hard for me to attend a denomination that judges them. I think my older son’s generation is the same...they think the whole debate is ridiculous in 2019 and it makes church just seem archaic and out of step with who they are. Anyway, I don’t mean to offend or upset anyone.... The news story I read had a pastor asking people to reach out for conversation before making decisions about leaving, so I thought I’d privately tell you my thoughts. (Even though I’m thinking about coming, not leaving!) Thanks for your time and your kindness."
So this is a challenging time to be a church planter in the UMC, but it is also a hopeful and helpful time as it gives us many opportunities to be clear about our vision and mission. God can make good out of anything and the good right now is the chance to be bold and loving about who we are as followers of Jesus that welcome LGBTQ brothers and sisters into the full life of the Church. Maybe now more than ever, it is time to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!