OK, so this story about a multi-denominational vow renewal service actually happened in the last days of 2019, but since it wasn’t included in our Best of 2019, deputy editor Bethany Erickson wanted to include it as one of the highlights of her year.
“It was pre-pandemic, but post tornado, and just this very beautiful moment in time that, in retrospect, would prove to be a lull between two chaotic events,” she said. “It was a truly lovely way to end one year and begin another.”
The service was held at First United Methodist Church-Dallas, and was poignant in several ways – the denomination was in the middle of an internal struggle about its stance on homosexuality, and everyone was conscious of the fact that for many in the sanctuary of the downtown church, this was their first time to recite their vows in church – because doctrine didn’t allow it the first time.
“While this event directly addresses an issue that is emotionally and politically charged, this service itself is a pastoral moment,” Andy Stoker, the church’s senior minister, wrote to church members. “This service is a chance to reconnect with our Methodist beliefs and to recognize the beauty of sacred covenants.”