Survey on PVUMC Welcoming and LGBTQ Inclusiveness
Church members and constituents (those who attend regularly, but have not yet joined PVUMC) were recently surveyed about PVUMC Welcoming and Inclusiveness.
As of January 11, 2017, a small team had compiled the results from the survey, which closed on December 12, 2016. They produced both a written summary as well as a Frequently Asked Questions document, which they emailed to all those they had surveyed, along with the graphic summary produced from Constant Contact, the email/survey software the church uses for marketing and communication to its membership and other audiences.
The church successfully contacted 890 people via the email survey, launched at the end of November, 2016, and 256 responded. The response rate was well above average at 29 percent. Typically, average survey response rates are 10-20 percent. From a statistical standpoint, the sample is soundly representative of our 1,542 base of members and constituents, with a 5.6% margin of error at the 95% confidence level. This means that if the survey were fielded again with a different set of 256 respondents from the group, 95% of the time scores would vary by no more than 5.6 points above or below the reported number. An acceptable error rate range is up to 10%.
The church is grateful to those who participated. Your valuable input made it clear that the majority of members and constituents at PVUMC are committed to being more welcoming and inclusive to the LGBTQ community.
As we continue to discuss this issue, we extend two invitations.
Holy Huddle with the Bishop
Saturday, January 21: Holy Huddles on the Unity of the Church
Bishop Bob Hoshibata is meeting with church congregations in the Desert Southwest Conference to strengthen the unity of the United Methodist Church. You are invited to this “Holy Huddle” on Saturday, January 21, 9:30 am-12 noon, in the santuary.
Bishop Bruce Ough, president of our Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church, said, ”Though conflicted and fragile, the United Methodist Church remains a strong witness to the transforming love of God and the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We affirm that our witness is defined, not by an absence of conflict, but how we act in our disagreements. We affirm that our unity is not defined by our uniformity, but by our compassionate and Spirit-led faithfulness to our covenant with God, Christ’s Church and one another.”
Roundtable to Discuss Welcoming Statements
Later this year, on Sunday, February 12, 2017, you’re invited to the last of our Roundtable events. More than 80 members and friends of PVUMC met in the Fellowship Center on August 21, 2016 for a frank and spirited conversation around the issue of inclusiveness by our congregation with an emphasis on the LGBTQ community. The focus of our conversations was whether PVUMC should adopt a broad welcoming statement which specifically and intentionally includes sexual orientation, such as:
“We are committed to being a welcoming, fully inclusive and authentic faith community, without regard to race, ethnicity, marital status, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental capacity, education or economic status.”
We will review and discuss a few more sample PVUMC Welcoming Statements on February 12 in hopes of reaching a consensus or at least some common ground.
The meeting will begin with a light lunch (provided by the Reconciling Ministries Team). If you would like lunch, please RSVP for this event no later than Wednesday, February 8 by emailing or calling Betty Price, administrative assistant to Senior Pastor Dave Summers: firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-840-8360, ext 129. Items will be available at 12:15 pm and the program will begin at 12:30 pm.
The conversations at the August 21 roundtable, the discussions this past fall in 2016 and those in January and Feruary this year are part of the historic process within the United Methodist Church as the church has examined social issues of importance such as slavery, suffrage, the role of laity in church governance, abortion, education, and allowing women to serve as clergy. All of these issues have had the potential to divide the church, and some did. But, we must continue to move forward as the arc of history in the church leans towards creating greater inclusiveness following the ministry and witness of Jesus Christ.
Senior Pastor Dave Summers will send out a Pastoral letter to the entire congregation in early 2017, before the Roundtable event.
We invite you to continue to be a part of this important, ongoing conversation which seeks to draw us closer to our own vision: “love that crosses all barriers and embraces all people.” — The Reconciling Ministry Team at PVUMC
See the Reconciling Ministries Network website for an update of how many UMC congregations are Reconciling and to read about the issues that have been under discussion for the past decades. The Reconciling Ministries Network began in 1982, and is committed to the local church, especially helping communities go through a discernment process on how your congregation, Sunday School class, campus ministry, or other small group can be actively welcoming all people.