An Important Announcement from Church Council

Our church has stood on this corner of Washington and Marion Streets for 220 years. Over those 220 years, Washington Street has been a bold leader across the city and across the state of South Carolina. Those 220 years has enabled Washington Street Church to see the many changes and evolutions affecting our society, this state, this country, and this denomination…and through that, we are still standing proudly as a leader on this corner.

In January our District Superintendent, Rev Fran Elrod, visited and held a question-and-answer session here in this sanctuary. The meeting was to share with the WS congregation a message and perspective from her and The Bishop and to keep all informed of what is occurring in the district and in the conference related to recent stories in the news concerning the Methodist denomination.

Out of that session, it was recognized the importance of clear communication, especially to our fellow Methodist siblings that may be displaced if they find that their home church considers disaffiliation from the denomination.

With that spark, the Church Council took up the mantle to draft a clear statement stating this church’s commitment to the United Methodist denomination and to reconfirm Washington Street Church as a safe harbor to those seeking inclusive love and a place of healing. Thru many drafts and multiple revisions, the Church Council worked as a team and voted and approved the following resolution.

“Washington Street United Methodist Church is committed to remaining part of the United Methodist (UM) denomination. We do so with the strong expectation that the 2024 General Conference will amend the Book of Discipline by removing all harmful and prohibitive language relating to LGBTQIA+ persons, and thus allow the ordination of LGBTQIA+ clergy and marriage ceremonies for LGBTQIA+ couples performed by UM clergy and/or conducted in UM churches. These amendments to the Book of Discipline will enable the United Methodist Church to reflect the inclusive love of Jesus Christ more faithfully and more fully live out its motto of ‘Open Hearts…Open Minds…Open Doors.’ Washington Street UMC continues to be a welcoming and affirming space for all of God’s children, including our LGBTQIA+ siblings. Our congregation will be a safe harbor and place of healing for persons whose churches are separating from the UMC.”

Watch the announcement to the congregation here: