The title may be a little confusing to some. You may be thinking what pain is there in equality, so let me explain. In my city, Washington, DC, the city council will be voting on marriage equality for the District very soon. It is our belief is that this will pass and we are also hopeful that it will be accepted by Congress (as we are the only city subject to have our laws reviewed by Congress). We know there will be celebration when this does happen but then there will also most likely be pain. See here is DC we are up to six reconciling congregations inside the city and I had not thought about this possible pain until just recently.
Here is the problem. We as reconciling United Methodist are known for our accepting and welcoming attitudes towards LGBT people. If DC marriage equality passes sad days may follow for the reconciling congregations here. The problem is how to react when LGBT couples show up asking to get married at our church. They have heard that reconciling means we are accepting of all people, but sadly they will have to be turned away. See thebans us from having any service celebrating the union of LGBT people in our churches. The United Methodist Church has also banned our pastors from performing these ceremonies with past punishment being the loss of ordination. So when LGBT people show up at out churches, and they will show up, we will have to turn them away because of policies we see as wrong. Now the hard part is these couples will not understand that, they will only hear that they are once again being rejected by the church and that they have no place in the church. Once again we are turning away those turning to the church. Once again the United Methodist Church will cause pain instead of bringing the love of God. How do you think Jesus would feel about that? The Jesus I know does not turn people away but rather embraces them and loves them right where they are.
Pray for the pain that will come from equality and pray that equality will come to the United Methodist Church.