Supreme Court Ruling

As you know, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in a 5-4 ruling that states cannot ban same gender marriage. Gay and lesbian couples across the country have a constitutional right to marry. This significant change in our civil law impacts each of us as we also live within the polity and discipline of the United Methodist Church.

As we seek to be in ministry with all persons, this law does not change what is and what is not allowed by United Methodist pastors and congregations. In a marriage ceremony of same gender persons, pastors may not lead the declaration of intent, lead the exchange of wedding vows and ring vows, or sign marriage certificates. Our church law does not prohibit offering a prayer or a homily in such a ceremony.

As your pastoral leader, I pray for the United Methodist Church in this season. I pray that we will lead with deep respect for each other. This is not a time to draw lines in the sand but rather a time to come together in prayer for one another and for all those with whom God calls us to be in ministry.

Together, let us pray:

Grant us, O God, in challenges of this present age, the grace to live with one another in the midst of a changing world. Lead us, O Lord, to live more fully in you that we may see your face in the faces of our sisters and brothers. Guide your Church to be faithful as we seek to embody your love, your hope, and your justice.

As citizens of this great nation, surround us with understanding in the midst of changes we do not always understand. As civil laws change, surround us with your wisdom that is greater than ours. Teach us to glorify you in all that we do.

 May we continually seek to be centered in your will.

In the midst of our diversity as the United Methodist Church, grant us the will to live in unity.  

Above all, teach us to walk humbly with one another and allow us to live with one another with grace and mercy as Christ has taught us to do.

Bishop William T. McAlilly

23 Comments on “Supreme Court Ruling”

  1. Luanne Gillock says:

    Bishop McAlilly,
    Thank you for your comments. I think you struck a very good balance between being clear on the Church’s position about same-sex marriages and being clear that we need to minister to and respect each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, not on the basis of sexual orientation. I also appreciate and think it was appropriate that you asked ministers to address the Supreme Court ruling from the pulpit yesterday. It is a blessing to have you, a strong leader, as our Bishop during these trying times.


  2. Carole says:

    I am aware of church policy so did not think the letter you had read from our pulpit on Sunday anything but gratuitous.. I have waited for years for the third tripod of our faith, reason, to prevail over scripture and tradition in this matter. I was so heartsick yesterday that I am not waiting anymore. I will not be returning to my church. I do not feel that I can support by my presence or my gifts such hurtful policy. I will continue to pray for the church.

  3. Janet L. Myers says:

    We are to LOVE the Lord with all our heart and our neighbor as our self and pray for and help those in need. Children is a gift of Gods grace and a reminder of his love for male and female persons. Not only does it It remind us of God’s love for us as male and female, but also our close connection to himself in creation.

  4. You did not address whether or not such ceremonies could be held in our churches.

  5. Nan Zoller says:

    What a week! The pope eases church stance on divorce, the ACA is affirmed/upheld, and civil rights & love prevailed. 🙂

    I thought the bishop’s letter was timely, informational, and reserved. And appropriate. No more silent UMC around here! I’m always glad to see that you keep the LSpkrs/Servants informed and updated, as they should be.

    Any backlash from the shots? Flora home?

    See email re ProjTransf and Dennis that’ll I’ll copy to you. You’ll like it!

  6. Carol Ann Richardson says:

    Thank you, Bishop!

  7. Kenneth S Uselton says:

    I continue to affirm your council, your steadfastness to our discipline and your grace. Thank you for being the leader we need in this time.

  8. david d smith says:

    Does this mean that i HAVE to be be or MUST be involved with these proceedings, unions, ceremonies etc. as a local pastor?dd

  9. Anne says:

    I’m an active Methodist (straight) with several gay friends, and I don’t object to their relationships. It doesn’t affect me. If they want to get “married” in a courthouse, fine. But I cannot accept my UM church giving in to the pressure of performing gay marriages in defiance of the BOD. My church is in a very liberal/progressive area of a large city, and our senior pastor is being pressured by both staff and vocal members to open our doors to “all” in our community, and to begin performing same sex marriages. I cannot reconcile my traditional beliefs with the apparent shift in Methodist doctrine toward performing gay marriages in our churches. I feel like my church is deserting me, and that members with traditional values are no longer welcome — it’s the gay way or the highway. Are there any traditional churches left where I can go and not feel like the Lone Ranger??

    • wtmcalilly says:

      If you will email me, I will be answer your questions.

      Bishop McAlilly

    • Dave says:

      Ann … of course there are far more church like you want than apparently the one you are in. The Nashville area has plenty of “traditional” UMC’s … go where you’re more comfortable. God Bless.

    • Janet L. Myers says:

      I believe in open hearts and open minds and open doors, but marriage in church; TO ME; is our connection to God in creation. It reminds that God created Male and Female and they in turn was ordered by God almighty to reproduce and fill the earth. To be born again is Gods promise of his eternal love for his Son who in turn made it possible for God to again be with us, male and female and little children. GOD WITH US IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH!

  10. […] June 26, 2015 | Author: wtmcalilly | Filed under: Bishop’s Blog |5 CommentsAs you know, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in a 5-4 ruling that states cannot ban […]

  11. Vida McClure says:

    Thank you Bishop for the prayer you offered. I pray we can live within the contents of your prayer. Vida McClure

  12. Stephen Sauls says:

    The permalink / url address still says “ruing”… social media shares will continue seeing “ruing”.

    I’m trying to be helpful… feel free to delete these comments form the blog!!

  13. Thomas Dowdy says:

    I do join you in this prayer for our denomination and for our country.

  14. Thank you for the conciliatory tone of your statements.