Redding Methodist Church Votes To Welcome LGBT Community
The church council of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Redding has voted unanimously to welcome members of the LGBT community and support ministers who choose to officiate a same-sex marriage.
Senior Pastor Rod Brayfindley says he knows there will be opposition from other Christian denominations who don’t condone homosexuality — but that’s not how he interprets the scriptures.
"Really when you take a hard look at those passages, there’s not a biblical argument against welcoming gay people and celebrating their lives and loves just like we would anyone else,” Brayfindley said. “Truthfully the most severe thing Jesus ever said is that to the degree that we judge, we will be judged."
Brayfindley says he has already wed at least one same-sex couple, and knows that he is in conflict with church teaching on the subject. He says officially he could lose his ordination, but he believes that thinking on the subject is changing within the United Methodist Church.
The issue will be debated next year at the church’s annual conference in Portland, Oregon.