Snoqualmie United Methodist (SUMC), the white church on the corner of River Street and Railroad Avenue, in the heart of downtown Snoqualmie, was founded in 1889 and is the second oldest church in the Valley.
Recently, after a two-year process of education and deliberation, SUMC became a “Reconciling Congregation,” which means they openly affirm LGBTQ+ marriage and pastoral leadership. SUMC has joined the Reconciling Ministries Network, the organization which helps Methodist congregations seeking to take this stand.
Though their worldwide denomination is still wrestling with how to manage the issue of marriage and ordination in the church for LGBTQ+ people, SUMC has decided that for their part, “All means all” when it comes to who is fully included.
Carol Morrison, who led the committee dedicated to this process, says, “Methodists have been social activists since John and Charles Wesley started the movement. We celebrate the beautiful diversity of our fellow humans, and we are committed to serving and join with the marginalized, as Jesus calls us to do.”
SUMC’s stand on inclusion is not nearly as dramatic as the stand Andrew Jackson McNemee, (“Brother Mack”) took in Seattle in 1885, four years before he founded the church. Brother Mack protected Chinese workers from a murderous mob with his rifle and other armed clergies until the National Guard could intervene. But their recent, formal statement attempts to embody SUMC’s renewed commitment to stand up for “the other.” The statement, approved by an overwhelming majority, reads:
“We celebrate God’s gift of diversity and value the wholeness made possible in community equally shared and shepherded by all. We welcome and affirm people of every gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, who are also of every age, race, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, level of education and family structure, and of every economic, immigration, marital, and social status, and so much more. We acknowledge that we live in a world of profound social, economic, and political inequities. As followers of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and pledge to stand in solidarity with all who are marginalized and oppressed.”
All are welcome to visit the congregation’s website at snoqualmieumc.org for information about upcoming programs, including a panel of parents of transgender children.