ROANOKE, Va. – Greene Memorial United Methodist Church members remain driven by their motto of "open hearts, open minds, open doors."
The church held a special service Sunday evening after Methodist delegates from around the world voted in favor of restrictions against LGBT people at their General Conference earlier in the week. That vote maintained bans on same-sex marriages and LGBT clergy members.
"Hearts have been broken," said Green Memorial UMC pastor Philip Waltz. "Spirits have been harmed. Trust has been undermined."
Greene Memorial's service, "For Everyone Born," aimed to tell the congregation and visitors that the church welcomes all people regardless of sexual orientation. The service used music to make its point clear, although Waltz did take time to preach about inclusivity.
"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it," said Waltz. "If one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. Embrace and support each other, especially those who have pushed to the margins and dismissed by society and faiths."