My name is Jason Emrick. I am a lifelong United Methodist and current member of Minnehaha United Methodist Church in South Minneapolis. I want to state that I, as well as many if not most of our congregants, were saddened, then outraged at our General Church conference’s decision to affirm the Anti-LGBTQIA language of our Church Discipline. I want to say that the United Methodist Church no longer speaks for this church in either opinion or policy. After the vote, many in our local church and churches across the country began considering separating from the united church we have been a part of since 1968. Though many of us would like to see our denomination choose a way forward to keeping the churches together, we will not sacrifice principle for the sake of unity. I ask that when you consider the decision of our global church you stop to recognize that within any group there are dissenting opinions. It would be unfair to consider all Methodists complicit in this decision and equally unfair to throw derision on a local church, whose own members stand in opposition to that decision. At our church, the Sunday immediately following the general conference vote had the third most attended service after Easter and Christmas. We were disheartened at the decision and came to gather in community to share our lament. We at Minnehaha are not a LGBTQIA church. We are simply a church. A church that believes that all are entitled to God’s grace and love. A church called to share that love, for the transformation of the world.