To Our Church Family and Friends of FUMC Plano,


Last Sunday, October 2, the key leadership of St. Andrew United Methodist Church of Plano announced to their church in a special called meeting that St. Andrew is disaffiliating from the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. This announcement surprised our Conference as well as many in St. Andrew’s large congregation. It hurts our hearts to report this news as these are clergy and laypeople who we have known and served alongside for decades. St. Andrew’s decision raises many questions. Foremost among laypeople at our other three Plano UMCs is, “What about our church? Could that happen here?” 


In response to this week’s announcement my colleagues, the Rev. Chris Dowd at Christ United Methodist Church and the Rev. Kory Knott at Custer Road United Methodist Church, made definitive statements to their congregations of their commitment to remain a United Methodist Church. I join them in that conviction and commitment. Several weeks ago, your Church Council met to discuss our stance given the unrest and differing stances in the denomination around human sexuality. We shared personal stories and reflected upon the history of our 175-year-old church before the Council arrived at the convicted and unanimous conclusion, “We are proud to be United Methodist.” This was a holy ground moment for me. 


I was raised in a local United Methodist Church, studied and trained at a United Methodist seminary, met and married an even more convicted United Methodist woman, and have had the privilege of serving in ministry alongside loyal and dedicated United Methodists in five other North Texas Conference United Methodist churches — none of them greater or having more diversity of thought, love and devoted ministry than First United Methodist Church Plano. Just as we have individually and in our families, our United Methodist Church has its flaws and foibles and we own those. But we also own the promise of God’s grace to redeem those flaws and foibles through the Spirit of love … together. We always will be stronger together than apart, as Paul stated in his great promise about the essential nature of the Body and its many parts. 


In the coming days, your Church Council will release its own statement, not as surprise but as invitation for conversation individually with members of the Council and in our small groups and classes. Talk to any of us. We want everyone to be informed and have space to speak their heart and their belief even when — especially when — they differ. This has always been the richness of the our United Methodist heritage and of First United Methodist Plano. As John Wesley said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.’’ It is for this reason, and for this church family with whom I am blessed to serve, that I am proud to say with all my heart, “I am proud to be a United Methodist” and a pastor serving First United Methodist Church Plano.


Connecting God and Grace to Self and Community, 

Matt Gaston, mgaston@fumcplano.org

Lead Pastor

Judith Reedy, jreedy@fumcplano.org

Associate Pastor

Gayle Landis, glandis@fumcplano.org

Minister to Adult Education 

Your Church Council:

Jennifer Barstow, ferpickle@aol.com

Bryan Bartee, bryan_bartee@yahoo.com

Cindy Boatfield, cindyboat17@gmail.com

Jim Carrillo, jimcarrillo7@gmail.com

Kevin Clanahan, kevin.clanahan@gmail.com

Gavin Cox, gavin.cox91@gmail.com

Kathi Cox, coxkathi@gmail.com

Joyce Craig, joycecraigoaks@gmail.com

Vicki DeVantier, videvant@gmail.com

Kathryn Haake, haake_1@yahoo.com

Leslie Harris, lharris13@tx.rr.com

Tim Hopson, timhopson.th@gmail.com

Debbie Ison, dison2@hotmail.com

Alethia Lamp, alethia@lamptribe.com

Keith Landau, Keith.landau59@gmail.com

Mark McLain, mark@designed-performance.com

Scott Overmann, overmann@ti.com

Jan Samuels, windmillc@aol.com

John Shell, j.shell2@verizon.net

Kristin White, kwhite117@yahoo.com

Pray for our church family here
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