It is Simple!
I am at an UM related meeting, and I am continually surprised to learn that many people have not heard about the 'Simple Plan' yet!
I understand the fact that it has not been out too long, but I also know that a good number of United Methodists are preparing diligently for the upcoming called Special session of the General Conference, and are keeping themselves fully informed on the latest documents and plans.
I have been in support of the Simple Plan since I was first introduced to it.
Is it because it is a progressive plan?
Um, not really!
I don't even think it is a very progressive plan. If it were, it would have asked the church to make commitment statements that spoke clearly about our welcome to all God's beloved people and would have included consequences for anyone who violates those commitments. But, such is not the case.
Here are a few reasons why I believe in the Simple Plan and it has my undivided support:
The Simple Plan comes to us from the Queer Clergy Caucus of our United Methodist Church. I am a strong believer of inviting those people to the conversation, whose lives we are discussing and making decisions for. The queer caucus has spoken and, as a faithful ally, I want to pay attention to their voice.
The Simple Plan does not add any more words to the current Book of Discipline. All it is asking us to do is to remove all the harmful language from it. This is pretty straight forward! No surprises at all. Just stop the harm- by removing words that other some people of God.
The Simple Plan does not ask anyone to do what they are not prepared to do. It does not add anything in the BoD that would mandate any church, clergy, or conference to do anything they are not yet comfortable with or called to. Churches and clergy that are prepared to welcome pastors, based on their gifts for ministry, can do so, while congregations that are not ready to let their buildings be used for a same-gender wedding can maintain their stance. No one has to do what they are not prepared to do. Even Jesus did not push anyone to do what they were not prepared for- why should the church do so?
Now, what can be simpler than that?
It basically is calling us to live out the Wesleyan General Rules of doing NO Harm, doing GOOD, and staying in LOVE with God!
How could we go wrong with that?
It is SIMPLE! I support it!
Rev. Alka Lyall,
2016 & 2019 General Conference Delegate