Friday, July 31, 2015
   
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Statement regarding the resolution between Rev. Pam Hawkins and the Nashville area United Methodist Church

Two members of our Belmont United Methodist Church family, Frank and Doug, were married in another state in March of this year. At that time, same gender marriages were not recognized in the state of Tennessee. Rev. Pam Hawkins, one of our clergy, informed the congregation and area church leaders that she had decided to participate in their wedding after much prayer and discernment. Frank and Doug have been in a committed relationship for over 15 years and actively involved in Belmont UMC, with their four children, for 14 years. Rev. Hawkins was informed that if she performed the wedding, a complaint would be filed with the Nashville area bishop.

Rev. Hawkins performed the marriage in March, the complaint was subsequently filed and a resolution was reached on Thursday, July 16, 2015 after several weeks of discourse and meetings. The resolution affirms that “all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God” and reiterates our shared call to minister to all persons without regard to their sexual orientation. The resolution further includes agreement for additional dialogue and understanding among Nashville area clergy and lay leadership.

One aspect of the resolution that will adversely affect Rev. Hawkins and her ministry at Belmont UMC is a 90-day suspension from her ministerial duties without pay but with all benefits. We will greatly miss Rev. Hawkins important ministry and witness during this time. Some Belmont UMC members who are interested in providing financial support for Rev. Hawkins during her
90-day suspension, are working together to do so.

We love and support our clergy as they respond to God’s call, recognizing that their path may lead them to be in conformity or conflict with the current official stance of the United Methodist Church on same gender marriage. Before Rev. Hawkins participated in the ceremony, the Belmont UMC administrative board expressed love and support for her, and Frank and Doug, in a vote and we united around our shared love for Belmont, our clergy, and all our members. We continue to affirm our support for Rev. Hawkins and for all of our clergy as they answer God’s call to be in ministry. We also continue to express our love and support for one another while recognizing our fears and uncertainties. We recognize that marriage is a sacred bond and the ultimate commitment between two persons. We also recognize that marriage has been defined differently at different points of time throughout human history and the history of the United Methodist Church. We recognize that United Methodists throughout the world are not of one mind with respect to same gender marriage. Likewise, we recognize that our clergy have all taken vows to heed God’s call to be in ministry with and to our faith community, including those in the LGBT community.

Belmont United Methodist Church is engaging in continued dialogue about these issues as our church strives to find ways in which we can live into our vision for nurturing all and heeding God’s call to ministry and discipleship. Our welcoming statement sums up our shared vision: Belmont UMC believes every person is of sacred worth and created in God’s image. We commit to Jesus’ example of inclusive love, care, and intentional hospitality with persons of every race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, faith story, physical or mental ability, economic status, or political perspective. We respect our diversity of opinion and expressions of faith. Therefore, as God loves us, we strive to love and serve in the name of Christ. This welcoming statement is included on our website and on each weekly worship bulletin. Belmont UMC strives to be a place where all persons find an open door, open heart, and open mind and feel strongly about being that place, as often persons in the LGBT community find closed doors when they seek a church.

To download a pdf copy of the final resolution, click here.

Click a link below for recent media coverage

Local Pastor Suspended For Officiating Same-Sex Marriage (Newschannel 5)

Because I am their pastor and they are God’s beloved children (Reconciling Ministries Network)

Belmont Methodist Church Pastor Suspended For Performing Gay Marriage (WPLN)

Pastor suspended 90 days for marrying same-sex couple (Channel 4 news)

 

Support for Rev. Dr. Pamela Hawkins

While the church may not provide salary support for Reverend Hawkins during her suspension, we believe that there are voluntary avenues to nonetheless ensure that Pam does not suffer financially.  At present time, there are at least two options for those Belmonters and others who wish to assist Pam in this manner.  If you are interested in doing so, please contact Louis and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who can answer questions and provide information.

 

Communion offering on August 2 will support Camping and Outdoor Ministries

The Communion offering on August 2 will support conference askings for Beersheba Springs Assembly and Cedar Crest Camp, two centers owned and operated by The Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. The mission of Camping and Outdoor Ministries is to provide sacred space away from the ordinary and to offer guests radical hospitality while providing the opportunity to discover and connect with God and each other so that persons may go into the world and make disciples for Jesus Christ. Beersheba Springs Assembly, located in Beersheba Springs, Tennessee, provides a mountain setting for small and large group retreats and events. It is also the location of Belmont UMC’s annual All-Church Retreat. Cedar Crest Camp, located in Lyles, Tennessee, offers a summer camp program for children and youth, parent and child weekend retreats, family reunions, and other conference and community events.



 

Change in deadline for August 16 issue of the newsletter

The August 16 issue of the newsletter will be published early, so items for it (as well as the August 9 issue) will be due by noon on Monday, August 3.

Send your articles, announcements, or calendar items for the newsletter, send it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Articles must be 150 words or less, in paragraph form and must include title/headline. Photographs must be high-resolution. Please indicate whether you want a byline.

   

Dementia and Alzheimer’s Caregivers Education and Support Group meeting

If you are you a caregiver, family member, or friend of someone with Alzheimer’s or other memory loss, we invite you to join us on Monday, August 3, at 7:00 p.m. in room 202, for a time of learning, fellowship, and care. These meetings are open to the community. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 

 

You're invited to the 2015 Youth Banquet!

Come celebrate our graduates and another great year of Youth Group at Belmont UMC!

When: Wednesday, August 5, 5:30-7:00 pm
Where: Community Center
Prices: $9 for youth groupers and adults | $6 for kids aged 4 - rising 7th grade | Free for kids 3 and younger

Join us as we celebrate our 2015 graduates: Andi Adiguna, Frank Dubose, Walter Hindman, Isabel Kennon and Sy Taylor - and another fantastic year of Belmont Youth! Moe's Southwest Grill will cater the event with a fajita bar for all youth groupers and their families - all are welcomed!

RSVP by Sunday, August 2, to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 615-383-0832. Be sure to indicate the number of adults, kids, etc., in your reservation.

Allie Rutland is organizing the slide show, so if you have youth group photos from the past year to include, please send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

   

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