LAKEWOOD, Ohio — The Lakewood United Methodist Church is sending a message of hope.
The church painted rainbow colored doors and wrote "Gods Doors Are Open To All" on them.
Earlier this year, the global United Methodist Churches decided to make a stance against gay marriage.
Reverend Laura Jaissle said the church wanted to make a statement about how they feel.
"The United Methodist church has historically had a statement open hearts, open doors, open minds but recently the global United Methodist church at a general conference had a vote that went counter to our historical understanding. So we at Lakewood UMC are a part of this resistance and will continue to stand for what we believe it right, God's doors are open to all," Jaissle said.
Jaissle spoke with the youth at the church to see how they felt about it and came up with the idea to make the doors.
"We kind of put these doors together as a statement as a church to kind of say hey, God's doors are open to all, especially to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Christ. We don't ever want them to feel that god's doors are ever closed on them," Jaissle said.
Starting next January, there could be punishments to pastors and congregations that act in disaccord, according to Jaissle.
"We are basically saying we're not that United Methodist church. We're a United Methodist Church that historically goes with their hearts and we're allowing God's grace and love to shine through," Jaissle said.
Jaissle wants the congregation and community to know that they are a church that welcomes all.
Bishop Tracy S. Malone, resident bishop of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church issued the following statement:
The local church is one of the primary arenas where worship and discipleship take place and where ministry happens. This display is the local church’s way of expressing their intent to be in ministry with all persons, including the LGBTQIA community. This display is not considered a punishable offense. There is no punishment for a local church to express their disagreement with the denominational stance.