Pastor’s Letter for July 2023


Pastor Jim Martin of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Weston, WV
Pastor Jim Martin

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Many of you may be aware of a struggle within The United Methodist Church over issues concerning human sexuality and the Church’s position (it’s theology and doctrine) on homosexuality. 

Accompanying this struggle has been a lot of confusion surrounding the Church’s actual position on these matters.  The Church’s position, the official and authorized position (on anything and everything) comes from a gathering of United Methodists every four years called General Conference.  The product of this Conference every four years is an updated version of The United Methodist Book of Disciple.  Within this Book of Disciple our agreed upon doctrines are held.  It also contains everything concerning about how we, as United Methodists, are to do church: organizing the local church’s committees, requirements for licensed and ordained ministry, the ministry of the laity, finances, property, how bishops are elected, etc.  You name it, it’s in there.

Our church council here at St. Matthew met in April and discussed these concerns and wisely recommended that we need first and foremost to offer you as members of St. Matthew an opportunity to learn exactly what the general church’s stated positions are with regard to same sex marriage and the licensing and/or ordination of pastors within the United Methodist Church.  That’s important because there has been misleading and confusing information from Social Media and public news releases. 

Then there is the discussion that many churches within our denomination are having about remaining as United Methodists and all that might entail.

So we have scheduled a meeting for Jul. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in St. Matthew’s sanctuary.  I will present what the Book of Discipline says on these matters.  And our District Superintendent will be in attendance to answer any other question about what is happening in the West Virginia Conference concerning these matters.

I strongly urge you to attend, regardless your feelings or understandings on these matters.  As a member of St. Matthew, you have a responsibility to yourself as well as your church to be informed with accurate information so that you may be able to make good decisions in the future. 

I look forward to greeting you on Wed., Jul. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

In Christ,

Pastor Jim