Pastor's Page

Rev. William Mudge, pastor  (updated 06-029-22) 
Dear Members and Friends of the Baldwinsville First United Methodist Church,  
          Grace to you, and peace from God who creates, saves, and sustains us! I am going to take this space – usually used for a seasonal word of encouragement within our newsletter – to address a national issue of concern and conversation. I want to take just a moment to speak to the recent ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization. I have received several calls and I have spent some time in conversation with members of our congregation around this and heard from several of these saints that the information we shared might benefit our larger church family. 
            Without speaking to the merits of the case, or the arguments presented in the majority opinion or the minority dissent, I want to share with you the position of the United Methodist Church regarding the complex and difficult issue of abortion and reproductive rights. It is a nuanced and prayerful position, developed over years of discussion in the church, recognizing the sanctity of unborn life but also recognizing that there are tragic moments when the life of the unborn child may threaten the life and well-being of the mother. 
            Here is what the United Methodist Church has to say about the issue of abortion, choice, and the sometimes terribly difficult decision about when (or if) to end a pregnancy, From our United Methodist Book of Discipline Paragraph 161K: “Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion. “But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child. “We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection or eugenics (see Resolution 3184).
“We oppose the use of late-term abortion...and call for the end of this practice except when the physical life of the mother is in danger and no other medical procedure is available, or in the case of severe fetal anomalies incompatible with life. This procedure shall be performed only by certified medical providers. 
“We call all Christians to a searching and prayerful inquiry into the sorts of conditions that may cause them to consider abortion. We entrust God to provide guidance, wisdom, and discernment to those facing an unintended pregnancy.
“The Church shall offer ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies. We commit our Church to continue to provide nurturing ministries to those who terminate a pregnancy, to those in the midst of a crisis pregnancy, and to those who give birth.
“We mourn and are committed to promoting the diminishment of high abortion rates. The Church shall encourage ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies such as comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education, advocacy in regard to contraception, and support of initiatives that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls around the globe.” 
            I appreciate the spectrum of opinions and experiences that we have as a community of faith, and I look forward to visiting with anyone who would like to talk.  I am praying for you and for our nation.

Blessings, Pastor Bill Mudge