Church of the Redeemer advocates for inclusion
Church of the Redeemer UMC invites the community to a luncheon on inclusion on March 29, 12:30 p.m., in Fellowship Hall. Martha E. Banks, the keynote speaker, will address the topic "Trying Again to Include Everyone: A Preview of the 2020 United Methodist General Conference." After her talk, there will be a time for questions and discussion.
In 2019, the United Methodist Church (UMC) voted, by a slim margin, to assert the church's prohibition against same-sex weddings and gay clergy. UMC has been in turmoil since that vote, as its progressive members have rebelled against the decision. As a result of that vote, ministers have been brought to trial and have lost their credentials—at great expense to them, the church and the community.
The Church of the Redeemer has been especially affected by this decision. Its congregation made a public statement 25 years ago, welcoming and affirming members of the LGBTQ community and all other persons, without exception. Therefore, the church’s congregation has been apprehensive about the decisions made by UMC at last year's Special General Conference.
Banks was a delegate at the 2016 and 2019 general conferences, and will be a delegate again this year. Her service to the UMC was recognized with the 2014 CORR-ageous Leadership Laity Award, the 2016 Bishop James S. Thomas Leadership Award, and the 2017 Black Methodists for Church Renewal Chairman's Honoree. She is a retired clinical and research neuropsychologist, and a former professor at The College of Wooster and Kent State University.
For more information about the March 29 luncheon, call the Church of the Redeemer (216-932-2065). The church is located at 420 South Taylor Road, in Cleveland Heights.
Mary Ann Kerr
Mary Ann Kerr has been a resident of Cleveland Heights for 46 years. She and her husband, Douglas, have been members of Church of the Redeemer UMC for almost as long.