A Love Letter To Our Church From Your LGBTQI Religious Leaders

by Alison Amyx

Originally posted by Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN), the letter below caused RMN’s website to crash due to an overload of traffic just hours after the letter’s release. Believe Out Loud is honored to host a copy of this historic letter, and we stand in solidarity today with the 111 LGBTQI clergy and candidates below.

Dear United Methodist Church,

As we gather in Portland to begin the 10 day discernment of God’s leading for The United Methodist Church known as General Conference, we, your Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex (LGBTQI) religious leaders—local pastors, deacons, elders, and candidates for ministry—want to remind you of our covenant with you.

We share with you the covenant of baptism which has knit us together as one family. You cradled us into the body of Christ, helped us know the grace that invites us to move more deeply into relationship with God, and invited us to listen for God’s call on our lives. We responded, finding that we were most faithful when we gave our lives over to full time Christian service. You embraced us, affirmed us, ordained us, and sent us to serve throughout the connection.

However, while we have sought to remain faithful to our call and covenant, you have not always remained faithful to us. While you have welcomed us as pastors, youth leaders, district superintendents, bishops, professors, missionaries and other forms of religious service, you have required that we not bring our full selves to ministry, that we hide from view our sexual orientations and gender identities. As long as we did this, you gladly affirmed our gifts and graces and used us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world in the varied places you sent us.

While some of us have been lucky to serve in places where we could serve honestly and openly, there are others in places far more hostile, who continue to serve faithfully even at tremendous cost to themselves, their families, and yes, even the communities they serve, who do not receive the fullness of their pastor’s gifts because a core part must remain hidden.

There are many voices within The United Methodist Church who want us to break up with them. From bishops, Boards of Ordained Ministries, and other leaders, we are told to simply leave. Is leaving home ever that simple? We are United Methodists because there is no other denomination with our unique connectional polity and distinctive Wesleyan spirituality. We are here because God has called us to serve in this denomination, and our souls are fed by the theology in which we’ve been raised.

We are coming out as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex persons at this moment for several reasons. Foremost, we want you to know we still love you and seek to remain in a relationship with you. Even if we should leave and you seek more restrictive language against LGBTQI persons, know that God will continue to move mysteriously in the hearts of LGBTQI young people and adults and will call them to serve within this denomination. You cannot legislate against God’s call. The “LGBTQI issue” is not one that can be resolved through restrictive legislation but instead by seeing that all persons are made in the image of God and welcomed into the community of faith.

We come out, too, to provide hope for LGBTQI young people in hostile UMC churches. These young people are more at risk for suicide than their peers, in part, because of the condemnation they hear from the pulpits and pews of their churches. We come out to remind them that God’s love for them is immeasurable, and offers them a love that will never let them go, even when it feels like the church is willing to let them go.

We come out to invite them to listen for God’s still, small voice that will speak in the quiet places of their hearts, who will call them into leadership positions. We seek to create a pathway of hope into ministry for them, even when the church has tried to shut its doors on them, or overtly or indirectly condoned the persecution of LGBTQI persons.

We love you, dear church. Through you, we have stood on sacred ground and seen the face of God more clearly. Our prayer, as the church begins its time of discernment, is that you will remember that there are nameless ones around the world, hungry for a word of hope and healing. LGBTQI people and their families exist in every church in every continent of this denomination. They are seeking to remain in faithful relationship with you, even when you refuse, because they know God’s tender mercies and great faithfulness.

Dear church, our prayers are with you, with all of us, in the coming days. May we all be surprised by the Spirit who continues to breathe new life in unexpected ways. May we find the body of Christ stronger at the end of our time together, not weaker or more deeply harmed. May we provide a powerful witness of finding unity even in our differences to a world fractured by fear and mistrust.


Rev. Jeanelle Ablola
Rev. Brian  Adkins
Rev. Austin  Adkinson
Rev. Dr. Israel Alvaran
Pastor Elyse Ambrose
Rev. Douglas A. Asbury
Rev. Jeanne  Audrey Powers
M Barclay
Rev. Dr Bonnie Beckonchrist
Rev. Ann Berney
Rev. Anna Blaedel
Rev. Daryl Blanksma
Rev Jan Bolerjack
Rev. Dr. Joanne Calrson Brown
Rev. Kristan M. Burkert
Rev. John Cahall
Rev. James C. Carter
Rev. Dr. Nancy A. Carter
Rev. Randa Jean  D’Aoust
Rev. Alex da Silva-Souto
Rev. Karen Damman
Rev. Diana Jani Darak-Druck
Sean P. Delmore
Rev. Greg  Eaton
Rev. Dr. Karen Engelman
Rev. Dr. Janet Everhart
Rev. Anthony M. Fatta
Rev. Robert  Gamble
Micah Gary-Fryer
Rev. Ruth Ann Charlotte Geiger
Rev. John Girard
Rev. Rebecca J. Girrell
Taylor Gould
Rev. Nancy Jean Goyings
Rev. John Edwin Griffin
Rev. Gregory D. Gross
Rev. Dr. Emily B.Hall
Rev. Trey Hall
Rev. Dr. Edward J. Hansen
Rev. Marcia Hauer
Rev. Michael A. House
Rev. Brittany Isaac
Rev. Monica Isaac
Rev. Marguerite Jhonson
Tyler R. Joyner
Rev. Elizabeth Jones
Rev. Lindsey Kerr
Rev. Dr. Jeanne G. Knepper
Ms. Ellen Knight
Rev. Katie M. Ladd
Pastor Bruce Lamb
Rev. Cathlynn Law
Rev. Ardis Letey
Rev. J. Daniel Lewis
Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey
Pastor Christine Lindeberg
Pastor Rolland Loomis
Rev. Kelly Love
Rev. Dr. Joretta  Marshall
Pastor Lea Matthews
Rev. Courtney McHill
Rev. Ralph A. Merante
Rev. David W. Meredith
Rev. Cynthia Meyer
Rev. Jerry Miller
Rev. Sharon L. Moe
Rev. Richard W. Moman
Rev. Deborah Morgan
Rachel Neer
Rev. Joshua M. Noblitt
Rev. Catherine Noellert
Rev. Gregory Norton
Rev. Dr. Karen P. Oliveto
Rev. Dr. Rebecca A. Parker
Rev. Lois McCullen Parr
Rev. Matthew A. Pearson
Rev. Drew Phoenix
Emily Pickens-Jones
Rev. Jay K. Pierce
Kendall Protzmann
Pastor Kathleen Reynolds
Pastor Jonathan E. Rodríguez-Cintrón
Rev. Daniel  Sailer
Rev. Siobhan A. Sargent
Kenneth M. Schoon
Rev. Tyler  Schwaller
Kimberly Scott
Pastor Ryan J. Scott
Rev. Patricia Simpson
Rev. Kim A. Smith
Rev. Althea Spencer Miller
Rev. Terri J. Stewart
Rev. Katie Stickney
Rev. Kristin G. Stoneking
Rev. Mark F. Sturgess
Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy
Rev. Frank E. Trotter, Jr.
Rev. Martha E. Vink
Rev. Kathleen Weber
Rev. Dr. David Weekley
Marvin K. White
Rev. Dr. Mark E. Williams
Rev. Brenda S. Wills
Pastor Jarell Wilson
Rev. Angela G. Wolle
Rev. John Robert Wooden
Rev. Vicki L. Woods
Rev. Wendy Woodworth
Rev. Frank D. Wulf
Rev. Laura  Young
Rev. Nancy Kay Yount

Comments (250)




Jan Lawrence

Wow! And, thank you all!

Jill M. Foster

This is so very inspiring and empowering Jan, wonderful!

perry bohanon

this is so uplifting
as a gay man who was once active in the UMC i find this so inspiring and refreshing. I have given up on church and god for that matter for years. I find the current contentious discussions led by the church so belittling and demeaning of who i am as a person. I hope someone can find a way to blow general conference wide open with the love of God for all of us…….i applaud the bravery and courage and authenticity of all of you………….maybe i’ll come back one day

Sue Knightes

response to letter
I, too, am ashamed of a church that ignores reality and tries to pretend that LGBTQI people don’t truly exist. It is time for the church to acknowledge and welcome with open arms all people, not just those they determine fit. Perry, please come back and know that many of us love you for who you are.

St. Paul

Your Decision
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Grayson Hester

You forgot to mention that in
You forgot to mention that in between Romans 1:22 and 26, there first came a willful exchange of what the people first loved–their relationship with God–for a lesser love–that of idols. It was because of this initial idolatry that God “gave them up,” and it is because of this initial exchange that the second exchange is contextualized and made sense of. Notice that the men left their first, natural love–women–for an unnatural love–men–not unnatural in a broad sense, but in a deeply personal sense. As a gay man, it would be defiant of my nature to have sex with a woman, just as it is defiant of one’s heterosexual nature to engage in intercourse with someone of the same sex. This, along with idolatry, are what Paul condemns in this passage, not the mutual, self-giving, God-centered love yearned for and shared by the LGBTQ+ folks mentioned in this letter.

Morne Marais

Idolatry begins in the heart
While it is a fair comment to suggest that the initial sin condemned in Romans 1:18-32 is idolatry, and from this flows the “handing over” passages which is the fruit of an idolatrous lifestyle, it is also fair to say that the very first step toward idolatry began with the words, “Did God really say?” This produced doubt in the heart, the very place where both the seed of religion is found and thus the seed of idolatry is sown. Therefore, idolatry is not an external practice but an internal reality. Israel often practiced the law externally though their hearts were removed from the correct worship of what God required, from the heart. The doubt from the heart which removes true and authentic worship starts with this initial question, “Did God really say?” And this question dominates the LGBTQ+ agenda, for it questions whether or not God really did in fact say such and such about correct sexuality. Yes, God does show compassion to the weak and faint hearted, but God also does legislate what we are and thus how we ought to live in light of what we are. This is not unloving, it is grace, for left to ourselves we will self-destruct, which is what Romans 1:18-32 is all about.


I’m trying to understand
I’m trying to understand these issues and this confuses me. Are you implying that your sexuality is fixed? If so, how do we explain sexual fluidity – people going from straight to gay, gay to straight, etc? I have friends who’ve gone both ways.

Bruce Robinson

Sexual fluidity
I think that there is a general agreement among human sexuality researchers that one’s sexual orientation is discovered, not chosen, and is fixed in adulthood, not changeable. On the other hand, one’s sexual behavior can be varied. People of all orientations can choose to be celibate; persons with a bisexual orientation are attracted to both genders, but usually not to the same degree. However, gender identity is often fluid. Some children who identify as the gender opposite their birth-identified gender change later in life.


the above discussion
This shows yet again “man’s” ignorance and fall from grace. The story of Adam and Eve explain that by beginning to “judge” or discern in their eyes what was good/evil, better/worse, godly/ungodly, they catapulted themselves on the road out of “Eden” Eden is the state of complete “non-judgement” and the faith that G-d knows why everything is the way it is. It is only the controlling, devious individual who starts to condemn others. Our only responsibility is our relationship to God, our family, and ourselves, and to let those relationships be our guidelines to treat others in like manner. If one truly believes G-d is responsible for ALL things created, then G-d is responsible for all variations on sexual, emotional love, and that there is a reason for every variation, and who are we to condemn or judge it. THAT is the road out of Eden and on to painful life situations, conflict. My life, my relationship to G-d, my sexuality, is MY responsibility, not yours….


proof-texting out of context
Paul wrote this of those who engaged with temple prostitutes of the many pagan religions prevalent in the regions of his time. I do not believe he was condemning those whose nature God had created.

Allison Mosher

Thank you so much for citing
Thank you so much for citing scripture. We can see what divisions are coming about in God’s church because of new interpretations, tolerances, and willingness to exchange the church’s leadership for their own.


Wake Up
The bible is merely a collection of metaphor and allegory. Stop holding up a bound collection of fairy tales as your justification for judging others. The entire spirit of the bible can be summed up as “Love One Another”. I realize that loving your fellow human is inconvenient when you prefer to judge them, but don’t hold up a book as your justification for that.

Paul Zesewitz

‘Merely a collection of metaphor and allegory…….a bound collection of fairy tales’? Oh, really? “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness, so that the minister of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2nd Timothy 3:16, 17) Folks like you who so quickly dismiss the authority of the Book of the Church are why the Church is so divided today! How utterly sad.

Former Rev. Steve Vacca

Thank You
I would like to add my name to this list who was pushed out of pastoral ministry by the VAUMC after 10 years of faithful ministry and service in the local church. It broke my heart to be asked to leave because I am gay but it was also the most liberating experience in my life. I could finally be authentic and begin the process of reconciling my faith and my sexuality. You destroyed my faith, asking me to hide my heart, pretending to be someone I was not. Love is Love and Love is from God.

Kelly Brest van Kempen

Bravo to you all and courage
Bravo to you all and courage on your journey. This Presbyterian prefers to remember what Jesus said about the LGBTQI community…

Ann Quilter

It’s Time
I sit here reading your Testimony of Faith, in awe, inspired, but also heartbroken that such beautiful souls have struggled for so long. God does not make mistakes and you are perfect in his eyes and in mine. We need you to stay strong and stay with us. I am fervently praying for inclusion. God bless

Kathy Weber

You are loved and supported by many. Thank You

Ruth Atterberry

Indeed it is time.

Scott Amundsen

It is long past time that the UMC show Biblical obedience and embrace fully all of God’s children.

Rabbi MIchael Adam Latz

Mazal Tov!
What a joy! Congratulations. What a blessing!

Stephen C. Toth

I resigned my credentials in 2010 when I came out to my District Superintendent. God Bless these courageous people fighting against being called “incompatible with Christian teaching”. It is time for the Church to change!


Thank you Stephen for having
Thank you Stephen for having the integrity to resign your credentials. I wish there were more that would resign also, instead of bring such division and broken covenant.

Stephen Rice

Love All

Love All


Rejecting the Bible
If you reject the Bible and what God says in it and you don’t like what the Methodist Church believes, it seems you are of a different religion and would want to create a different church where you can do whatever you like.

Paul (in Georgia USA)

Surprised and praying
Jenny, how could you say such things? Over 50 comments here, and all of them celebrating the honesty, and frankly the bravery, of these wonderful people. Why would you come here to criticize them? Shameful really.

Thank God we are growing up as a church, and realising now that human sexuality is not as people saw it 44 years ago.

Even if it is late for us, The UMC, to change. Too late for the young people that have taken their own lives, and late compared to the population of people who do not grace our “Open Doors” with their presence (for they are more Christian in their love and affirmation of others than too many of those inside our Church have been)

This is a remarkable act of compassion for the young and for future generations.

As a lifelong Methodist from the UK who has lived in the USA for two years, I want to say a big thank you everyone who has signed this beautifully written letter. Praying for reconciliation, for love, for Open Minds, Open Hearts and truly Open Doors.



I simply choose to disagree, I don’t know Gods plan (I wish he would fill me in) I think lgbtdagi community is not what God intended. I could be wrong, I still love you and more importantly God does too. U


I do not think that those who are of the LGBT commounty should be pastors as the Bible clear on people who are gay. I will love them but not the sin they are in. God can change them. I also do not belive that they should be in any kind of leadership. I hope we do not start doing wedig for them.

Inez Tankesly

I wholeheartedly agree with
I wholeheartedly agree with Sam and believe somewhere down the road the people who are coming out strayed from God’s Word.


Thank you for standing up for
Thank you for standing up for Biblical truth!

Linda French

Do you realize that these
Do you realize that these church leaders are living as hypocrites, saying they believe in God but not trusting Him and His laws? God said very clearly that sex is to be within marriage and between one man and one woman. Who is man to think he knows better? It doesn’t matter how progressive people want to be, how they foolishly think that accepting more and more as all right is good, how they think it’s showing compassion to applaud people into the hell that rejecting God’s laws will lead them to, or how they think that disagreeing is always wrong or hate (unless a progressive disagrees with or hates a Christian – then it’s thought of as okay – how hypocritical to think they can never be wrong). If you agree with the UM church leaders, fine, but don’t ask anyone how he or she can be against it. Approving of sin means you are not the one who is compassionate. Those who think beyond the here and now and care about a person’s soul are the ones who are compassionate.

Janet E. Bernstein

I am Jewish, but have always had Christian friends and family, and having an interest in religion, I even attended youth group at Abington Friends Meeting in junior high. As I understand Jesus’s teachings, his main theme was that the RULES are NOT the most important thing, that blindly following the RULES can easily lead one AWAY from God instead of TO God. And I have read both Old Testament (Torah) and New, and it seems the # of comments against homosexuality is incredibly small. The times we are told to forgive and release people from debt after 7 years is more often and more directly commanded, yet I don’t see ANY religious institutions calling for that to be followed. There are countless ways in which people have changed i their ideas in the past 2016 years, some for practical reasons (like that debt law) some for societal preference (no more multiple wives). Being expansively inclusive of what we now understand is a natural occurring human trait, is a
good rule to discard. Jesus included people outside of Judaism who followed NONE of the rules, and spoke out against people of the faith who put Rules above love, compassion and inclusiveness. It does not seem too hard to me to see what you should do. Stop excluding a portion of your own people because of a minor RULE. Stop pretending that you would be making a unique exception in discarding a Rule that no longer upholds,a Rule that actually blocks, the most important teachings.


So well said Janet!
So well said Janet!

Jeri Reed

Blinded by rules
Thank you for this. One of the biggest problems we have is self-righteousness. We love rules, no matter how silly or obsolete, by which we can judge others. It’s shameful, and the world is watching this foolishness.

Kerrie Ward

what Janet Said
so well said Janet – as a child who is now Methodist but has a Jewish heritage I have always been open minded as I see both sides of my family “under God”. How narrow and hypocritical of me to assume I know our Lord’s plan. Jesus said to love one another – there was no small print. Thank you for your wise comments.


Within Marriage/One Man and One Woman
Show me where the Bible talks about the marriage ceremony was for Adam and Eve. Show me the 11th commandment that says, “Thou shall not commit homosexual acts.” You can’t. But I can show you the one that says, “Thou shall not commit adultery.” Spend some time complaining about that one why don’t you.

George M Melby, Pastor/Chaplain

Tolerance or Love?
Please don’t equate these two terms just to cover your poor attempt to excuse yourself! You fool no one! Either love or keep quiet!


It’s more shameful to
It’s more shameful to celebrate sin.


Many of us have left
Many of us have left positions in the church after coming out. And while that decision comes from a place of integrity, those who choose to live and serve and be true to who God has made them are acting with no less integrity.


Nasty little comment Jenny.
Nasty little comment Jenny. It belongs in the ash heap of history…


Nasty little comment Jenny.
Nasty little comment Jenny. It belongs in the ash heap of history…


John,di am abhored aat your comment that God is not pleased with the subject of sexuality t. NOONE, ANYWHERE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR STATUS can speak for God. Hopefully when you meed God he can help you come to grasp with thie issue of LGBT. God Bless you.

Meagan McLaughlin


Ezekiel 16:49 says the sin of Sodom was being overfed, unconcerned, and not helping the poor and those in need. If the story of Sodom is a sexual morality, then Lot is a righteous man because he sends his daughters to be gang raped by a mob. Again: If this is a story condemning homosexuality, then it also celebrates gang rape, thus making unthinking, unfeeling sexual objects of girls and women. This is one of the most misused texts in the Bible, and it angers and saddens and frustrates me as a woman and a gay person that it is still read this way.


Jenny I agree wholeheartedly.
Jenny I agree wholeheartedly. God is not please with this nonsense and we as the church must for what is pure and Holy before God. Stop making excuses for SIB and call it what it is If God destroyed cities for this same reason why would anyone think that his stand on this has changed stop conforming to this world and making excuses for wanting to walk in your flesh.The Bible put it this way we spoke in your name healed in your name but God replied I never knew you depart from me you workers of iniquity. Those that you teach to walk in this same way you will be punished repent and turn to God before it is too late


Lisa, God did not destroy
Lisa, God did not destroy Sodom or Gomorrah for anyone’s gender or sexual orientation (please reread the scriptures). The sin of those cities was assault and inhospitality. As much as it is accused of LGBTQIA individuals, individuals with unexamined Victorian prejudices are using cherry picked (and poorly translated) Bible verses to inflict that prejudice on others with devastating effects to our communities. It is time that stopped.


repent or burn
repent or burn..repent or burn…i get so sick and tired of hearing that crap. for those of you who are so offended, why are you still reading? go away and worship yourselves and your image of God that you are holding on so tightly to. hope it works out for you, but my bet is ….it won’t


I feel that it’s because of
I feel that it’s because of people like you who bring such division to our faith and our beliefs we are all children of God all of us inclusion is what its all about I am not a second class citizen and I deserve to be treated with respect just as I’m sure you believe about yourself the God that I worship and praise is a loving God who includes all of his children ALL! And I have a lot of respect for those who have chosen to come out and be who they are and as my loving God has made them I am grateful to them and my loving God doesn’t do wrong and he had made us all in his own image

Rev. Jan Rhind

I’m sorry that you needed to
I’m sorry that you needed to surrender your credentials, Stephen. I don’t know you or the circumstances, but I regret that the UMC no longer is the beneficiary of your gifts and graces.

Linda French

It’s time for the church to
It’s time for the church to change? To change from God’s holy and unchangeable laws to man’s ever-changing laws? God is the one who is all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful, and all-holy. People are the ones who need to change. We are merely the limited, sinful created; God is the Creator. He gets to set the rules.


Stephen, Why should the church change? God doesn’t change. His laws are still the same. Trust and obey, there’s no other way. We love you as we do all people but we need to repent of our sin.

Linda LIng

LGBTQ inclusion
My heart just leapt when I saw just the headline here. So much love is being sent your way from those of us who are moms of LGBTQ people. Thank you. Thank you

Maria-Pia Seirup

Tears of joy
My heart leapt as well as a mom of a transgender son. May God bless the courageous 111.


Wow! Yasssss!!
I’m inspired by your witness and I can’t WAIT to worship with you!

Alka Lyall

Thank you all for your
Thank you all for your courageous witness. #itstime the chains of oppression break loose and the church recognize all people as God’s beloved and called to serve God’s people.


Thank You
I was raised in the United Methodist church, and while I am not a member of the LGBTQI community myself, the church’s positions on issues affecting the community are what caused me to leave the denomination I considered my home for the first 25 years of my life. I have struggled in the years since to find a community of faith that I feel I belong to. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of these brave ministers. There are so many of us out there just waiting for the day when we will feel like it is okay to come home. You have staked your life’s work and your careers on enacting change in the church. It is because of your bravery that I truly believe one day we will all be able to return to a more inclusive United Methodist Church. I will continue to pray for that day and for all of you. God Bless.

Hilda A Moore

Likewise I was reared in the UMC and after marriage I, along with my husband, and two sons, one of which was gay, continued to love and support our church for many years. However, after the deaths of my husband and two sons, I began to question if I could continue to support a denomination who could not love and accept my gay son. I prayed consistently and I was led to leave UMC, but I have continued my endeavor to invoke UMC to change their unloving position and become an ALL welcoming church to each and every person. I tell it all in my memoir, Two Sons Twice Born. Please, delegates, do the right thing by voting to accept the Homosexual Community.


JM Gray

So sorry to hear this and
So sorry to hear this and hope the church people change. My family has been Methodist for generations. My grandfather, great grandfathers were ministers and professors of theology and my great great grandfather a dean of theology of a Methodist college. Therefore, I grew up believing that all people were welcomed as part of Gods church. My current church has members of the homosexual community. They are welcomed, embraced and active members. I know there are divides but praying the church will embrace Gods word. Praying that people who talk will re-evaluate and walk their faith.

Ann Hagler

Because of your courage, love for the UMC, and love of God, may your letter be a beacon of light to those who continue to live with exclusion.

Rev. Pat Dolin

Your UCC colleagues stand with you in your fight for justice.

Marti Williams-Martin

thank you.
thank you.

Rev. Flora Bowers

sooooo proud of my colleagues
sooooo proud of my colleagues….may this be the year

Rev. Janet Craswell

Thank you for your
Thank you for your faithfulness and your courage.

Mary Huycke

Sitting in the airport, tears
Sitting in the airport, tears making it hard to write this. Sending deep love to each of you with deep appreciation for your ministry and your courage.

David White

On the edge
I am currently a member of the UMC, but the outcome of this conference will determine whether I stay it transfer to a more inclusive church. I know that I speak for several in my congregation who share this feeling.


You may leave if vote doesn’t
You may leave if vote doesn’t go your way, I will leave if it does. Looks like we both lose. May God somehow make truth clear.

Candace Morehead

Thank you
After being a Methodist a very long time, it’s great to see that finally we have chosen to come together rather than be torn apart.

Angela Buchanan

Thank you!!
I cry as I read this letter and the signatures. Many of those that signed were my peers in seminary. I am so very proud of them and my heart goes out to them. I was ordained and given the choice of silence or my orders being taken. I gave my orders up and my heart and soul broke. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Thank you for being that courageous bold voice! I’ve been waiting for this for some many years!!

Melinda Zobel

May the Creator who made you
May the Creator who made you perfectly who you are bless each and every one of you as the church enters this difficult season of discernment. May the church see and hear the Spirit flowing through you and know that it is good.

Winona Dye

Let the Amen sound
Amen to your prayer, Melinda, My heart and my eyes are full as I read the letter and the comments. The words and images of Acts 10 fill my mind, and lead me to say with Peter, “I really am learning that God doesn’t show partiality to one group of people over another…” (Acts 10:34 CEB)

Amy Ramsey

So Proud
I love you and am so proud of each of you. I believe that God calls whom God will. I also know that I am being called to leave the UMC if the General Conference does not put aside this unloving attitude of exclusion this year. May God bless each of you for your courage.

Bonnie Blue Crouse

Agreement – It’s Time
Nothing in the new Testament leads us to believe that Jesus would have demanded a second-tier of belonging amongst those who embraced the word and work of his ministry. Te selective use of Leviticus to shame and separate people from each other is not the work of love or justice. It’s Time. It’s time to open the doors fully and welcome in all of those who are guided by the great teachings of the NEW testament. The good news, the gospel, is not meant to create a hierarchy of worth. The church is better than this. It needs to be better than this. And It’s Time. Only fear holds people back from love.


Leviticus? What about Romans?
Leviticus? What about Romans? Should we just write off the entire Bible and make it up as we feel? ….which is what we do now. This is why the Methodist church is hemorrhaging membership.

Hilda A Moore

After loving and supporting UMC for almost 60 years, all the while during and after the birth of my gay son, several months ago I decided I could no longer support UMC and their negative stance on homosexuality. I am praying for a loving and accepting positive vote from this group of delegates. It is the right thing to do.


This is beautifully written, heartbreaking and so much love and support. The comments made me even more emotional than the letter. #lovewins I mean in the truest sense, WWJD? He would love and say God makes no mistakes, he makes you who you are and you are doing his work.

Melinda O'Brien

Praying for the UMC
Thank you all for being brave and bold and willing risk it all. I pray that the United Methodist Church will stand by you as lovingly and willingly as you have stood by it.

Pastor Jeff Wells

Thank You!
Personally and on behalf of everyone at the Church of the Village (NYC), I offer gratitude for your courage and your witness. You are all an inspiration to everyone seeking God’s justice in the the UMC and beyond.

Melissa Donner

For each of these 111 names, Lord I give thanks. For their commitment to You, their church, and themselves. Continue to raise them up in your word, engulf them with your love, and strengthen them to live fully as you designed.

Carol Brown

Blessings on you all. You
Blessings on you all. You shine the Light. May you feel Love surround you.

Roger Furrer

Bless you all.
Bless you all.

Sally West

My prayers are with all the delegates to General Conference that they truly walk the path God has called them to walk. That they agree to disagree but accept ALL for their human worth and love all people despite their difference of opinion. God has called us to love and accept.

Sandy Davenport

Blessings on you all and
Blessings on you all and prayers for peace and love and inclusivity at our General Conference….you are each loved, children of God and your bravery is inspiring…..May Jesus’ call for love be heard….

Karen Frazer

Love and Respect to these brothers and sisters in Christ
My heart sings for all of you beautify brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who are able to put their name and those who are not. I pray for those UMC leaders at general conference to open their hearts and minds to the love of Christ.

Jan Ping

Keeping you in my prayers
I am praying for you, asking God to hold you close, keep you from all harm, give you peace of mind. Please know that many UMs care for you and support you in your ministry. Thank you for your faithful witness.

Paige Swaim-Presley

Thank you!
Thank you so much for your courageous witness, your beautiful ministries and the hope you give to so many. I have prayed for you all as I read your names. Peace and grace to you!

patricia lange

Thank you for your eloquent letter. There are many of us who join with you, in prayer, for an inclusion-miracle at General Conference. May God’s face shine upon you and through you. May United Methodists lead in the example of inclusiveness to all of God’s children, regardless of race, sexual identity, ethnic origin, or any other differences for, indeed, we are all God’s children.

Jennifer Gorman

As a Mennonite follower of
As a Mennonite follower of Jesus, and the proud mom of a lesbian daughter and bisexual son, both young adults and loving followers of Him as well, I am so grateful for your stand today, and for the strength, courage, hope and change that it hopefully will bring to people, young and old, both within your own denomination, but also as a witness to the larger Church all over the world, including my own, who are not feeling the freedom to fully serve and worship Jesus in the way that they have been called and created to do, respecting all of the amazing, different and astounding ways He has created each of us.

Quinn Wright

To these brave souls standing
To these brave souls standing up for justice in the UMC, feel strengthened by the knowledge that you all greatly affect the lives of your congregants and those whose lives (spiritual and otherwise) have been entrusted to you and your care. May you never cease to have your souls fed through the knowledge that you are not alone and that there are those of us in lay ministry who will have your backs no matter what! May you continue to do great work, and may God continue to move mightily through you not because you have been commissioned by the UMC, but because God has given you a greater commissioning.

Brian J. Harris

I was born and raised in the
I was born and raised in the United Methodist Church (my father is a retired UM pastor.) I hid my identity for years. I was told all homosexuals went to hell by my Sunday school teacher. I tried to change but to no avail. I finally realized God loves and accepts me as I am, and this is who he created me to be, a gay man. I’m now a Certified Lay Minister within the UMC and Rev. David Meredith is my pastor and mentor. I’m moved beyond words by the events of the past few days. I feel called by God to reach out to the disenfranchised and assure them of God’s unconditional love.

Erik Day

Many of the signers are
Many of the signers are friends.
As a openly gay youth director I am proud of these people and the strength they share to call out the UMC.
‪#‎ItsTime‬ ‪#‎CalledOut‬

Jon Larimore

It’s Way Past Time
As a lifelong gay Methodist man, I am so very proud of these courageous Christians! My suburban UM church has always been welcoming and supportive of its gay members, and we certainly look forward to the day when this simply becomes the unremarkable norm throughout the denomination. All my life I have prayed for the day when my church will no longer consider me less than my many straight friends there. But now, at the age of 76, as my time to wait (and my patience) diminish, pending the outcome of this conference I may with deep regret have to finally consider alternatives.

Rev. Kathleen Bauerle

Still waiting
I left my UMC ministry when I realized I was gay – over 25 years ago. I was sure the UMC would change the Discipline and welcome us back. It still hasn’t. I miss it so much and now am too old and am also handicapped, but I still try to minister. So sorry to have lost my church.

Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson

Thank you for your courage
Thank you for your courage and witness. I am moved beyond words with gratitude and hope for the church. I am a queer pastor in the DOC and your testimony brings me hope and joy. May God continue to be with each of you.

Jan Buchanan

Love Letter to the UMC re: LGBTQI clergy
I, too, am crying as I read this incredible Love Letter to our beloved UMC. After writing an Open Letter to my local church, District Committee on Ministry and the OR-IDA Annual Conference in 2003, I left my candidacy process to seek another denomination where I would not be forced to lie/conceal, etc the fact that I am called by God to ordained Christian ministry AND am a lesbian. At that point I was forced to say goodbye to the denomination that had supported me in my Call to ministry for 13 years. This decision was made with a huge amount of grief. I finished seminary that same year and sought ordination in a different denomination. Though I love the denomination I now serve under, it will never be fully my home the way that the UMC was. I loved the connectional system and the love that goes along with it. I loved the participation in one another’s ministry that goes along with joint ownership in UMC camps, and so much more. But most of all, I loved the ways in which clergy and lay leaders felt invested in those young people among them who seek to follow God’s call on their lives. May ALL those whose names are on this list (many of which I know) know God’s blessing today. This letter is an incredible gift to the UMC. I pray that others know what it takes to put your name on a list like this. A prayer for this time that you will all have together:

Holy God,
May all those who have courageously, voluntarily, stepped OUT of their comfort zones, feel supported today as they carry the weight of having their names on this list. May those who were unable to add their own names to this list know that they are not forgotten. May all those LGBTQI individuals CALLED BY GOD to serve as clergy in the UMC know both your loving presence and your incredible power as they seek to serve You today, throughout this General Conference, and into the future. May those who come to this General Conference who have historically sought to direct delegates to vote for legislation that demeans LGBTQI people of God, see beauty in God’s creative diversity. Send your Holy Spirit upon the hearts of the Central Conference delegates who need to hear about the beautiful Gifts of Your Son Jesus that we ONLY see in the LGBTQI clergy among them today. Holy God, YOU have gifted us with life, with love, with grace and with courage. We thank you! May this be the year that unity is found in the inclusion of ALL people being invited to the Table as those that You DO call to ministry.


I, too, am a United Methodist
I, too, am a United Methodist and have been for over 40 years..I loved my church even though they abandoned me when I was doing what Christ would have done..The UMC in Arkansas would do good to listed up and take care of their LGBTQ family because they are there even if they can not see them. I am so happy to see this letter and am so proud that you had the faith to write it..

Lisa E. Rogers

Am reading this conflected
Am reading this conflected with weeping and joy. Taking the stance you all have is the most beatiful and courageous act! Prayers that it does not fall on deaf ears and blind eyes. May your actions be honored and not be ” disciplined”for those action! I suggest anyone fighting with this inclusion issue read Walking the Bidgeless Canyon by Kathy Baldock, if read with a prayful, loving and open mind, it will truely change how you feel about the inclusion issues of the church and the LBGTQI committee!

Jeff Hendrickson

Thank you beloved brothers
Thank you beloved brothers and sisters of Christ who can no longer be marginalized or silenced by those who cannot or choose not to belove God’s love is for ALL people. God’s grace and salvation covers us all equally and without regard for whom we are, otherwise no one in the UMC would be able to stand up to a “worthiness” test. We are ALL worthy who call upon the name of Jesus… we are ALL the “Whosoevers” that are embraced in John 3:16.

My hope and prayer is the General Conference will have the scales removed from their eyes, that they may fully see the damage, hurt, and division caused by these sanctions. When we love and trust God to call the right leaders for our congregations and missions groups, it removes the responsibility from us as fallible humans and places the calling where it belongs – in God’s everlasting arms.

Come unto me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest? General Conference Members… aren’t you tired yet? Aren’t you tired of being those who need to decide and who need to cast out – isn’t it time to give everyone rest. Bring all of God’s people home, and let them find refuge, salvation, solace, and grace back in the UMC.

There is nothing like the stinging slap of hearing you are not fit for God’s service for something to which was never decided. It simply is. If it is, then it is in God’s hands to reconcile and my job is to simply minister. While I do it in music, there is no less importance or no less sense of judgment when other’s wish to cast you aside or think somehow you are not worthy of God’s love, God’s call, God’s embrace. That love is for all – and we have no standing to choose upon whom God’s call should befall, just as we have no standing to choose upon whom God’s love can fall.

My prayer is the leaders seize this moment and do something powerful for the future work of God. For our young people, for our old people, for LGBTQI and for all others who stand firm with us hand-in-hand, in love. And, lastly, for those on the outside looking in, so that they will see the light and call of hope of Christ in us to a world that so desparatley needs to see love in action.

God bless.

Alison Amyx

I, too, was ‪#‎CalledOut‬. I

I, too, was ‪#‎CalledOut‬. I realized I was gay during my last semester of studies at a United Methodist seminary. I had fallen into community with Methodists from all across the spectrum who were discerning their place in a denomination that did not yet affirm LGBTQ people. Some of these Methodists had to leave their denomination so they could be ordained without hiding who they are.

And it is sometimes puzzling but also not that surprising that in that community of such wrestling, hope, and deep not-yet-ness—I finally felt safe enough to hear my own name, my own calling to authenticity from deep within.

In this moment, I am praying for the UMC, and especially it’s LGBTQI members. I expect that this General Conference will be a time of discernment, with all the pain of not-yet-ness, but I also hope from this place—a calling to authenticity may also emerge.

Thank you all for this incredible witness!

Eric Liljegren

What a beautiful and
What a beautiful and important letter! Thank you all for your courage and your ministry. Like many, I am in prayer for this General Conference, and dare to hope for movement in support of faith leaders who give their lives in service to the Gospel, but risk punishment for bringing their complete selves. Bless you! It is an honor to serve as a lay staff member in a United Methodist congregation today.

abby mohaupt

thanks be to God for each of
thanks be to God for each of you and for the work and witness each of you are–for your courage and your steadfast faith. thank you xo

Rev. Karen Foster

As someone who grew up in the
As someone who grew up in the UMC and an out lesbian, I applaud your courage. The time is now. I will be praying for this UMC and anxious to hear good news!

Elaine Kidwell

The String of Letters
Understanding that sexuality is a. Continuum, I stand with my LGBT sisters and brothers and am struggling to understand the “Q.”. However, I am concerned that there may be no end to the letters. Truly the, we will be like Rome, a society where anything goes. Few people address the sanctity of whatever sexual relationship one has. We are made to glorify God.

Joyce Bradley

Look at all these names (and
Look at all these names (and those not on it) who have had to hide their light under a bushel. May your light start shining for all to see.

Janice Hawthorne Timm

Thank you
I am here. Standing with you in love and solidarity. Thank you for being so strong and brave!


God Bless you all!
God Bless you all!

Bob Whitehead

A Love Letter
So moved by this courageous act. It’s time!


Find another Church
Find another church to destroy


Thank you
I hope that our denomination can be welcoming of all as siblings in God’s family. You are very brave to take this step.

Dorothy E. Everhart, M.Div., MSW (Hospice Chaplain)

A bit of my story
I left my first parish in the UMC ministry in 1978, but continued to do supply work for close to a decade. I became certain that the UMC was not likely to change in my lifetime and I did not want to live dishonestly in the closet any more. I was partnered with a woman 20 years my senior, who passed several years ago from dementia. We were able to care for her in our home until she passed. In 2005, we found the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley who were quite welcoming and very supportive of me as her full-time caregiver. So, to those of you who might be looking for a welcoming faith community, take a look at your local or nearby UU congregation.

I applaud those of you who signed this letter! May you find support and the love and care you deserve!

John Zmolek

Thank you all for your
Thank you all for your courage and witness.

Rev. Steven Davis

Former United Methodist Clergy
After 26 years of faithful and effective ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, I removed myself from ministry rather than face Church trial for coming out. I greatly regret not feeling as if I could stand for myself with support and integrity. Now, as an authorized minister in the United Church of Christ, I long for and pray for the Church of my upbringing and the first home of my faith to see that even when you have forced us out or removed us by threat, or silenced us by fear, the Spirit of Christ, who is unconditional love, has stirred us and fanned us to flame so that the heart of the people known as United Methodists all over the world might be strangely warmed with a new hope and life, welcoming ALL people to the family!

The Rev. Wes Jamison

This UCC/PCUSA pastor is proud to stand with you!

Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman

Glory Hallelujah!
Thanks be to God for freeing these your servants for joyful obedience to your call! May they bring blessings to all through the power of Christ’s spirit of truth and grace.

Ray Swan

Stand against this immorality
Stand against this immorality or perish as a legitimate denomination. We truly are in the last days where people will not heed sound doctrine.

MJ Grimshaw

Thank you to all who stand up
Thank you to all who stand up & will no accept in silence the harm the UMC is doing!

Russell McFall

Wow! I am new to the UMC and
Wow! I am new to the UMC and wish we could all get along. Who are we to decide who is called by God to server? I so wish that we would all just follow the one command Jesus gave us, Love your Neighbor! Thank you all for that have put their names on this letter, and writing it. It is way long overdue. We had a split in the Lutheran church a few years ago under this same issue, I just wish we could all just agree to disagree and be inclusive of all. Please!

Robert Tucker

I decided to resign my
I decided to resign my credintials some years back. The UMC had been like a family to me and I grieved my lost but also I felt free of the lies. I have never felt much peace while being in a UMC worship service since..However I do still have a feeling of love and loyality for the Methodist church. I do not want a spit in our church. Hopefully we can agree to disagree and let annual conferances decide.

Kerry W. Bart

Godspeed, signers. Hoping for
Godspeed, signers. Hoping for change in The UMC.

James E Cole

Thanks to each of you for your courage and prophetic witness. I pray for our Church as we move to a place of justice for all our members. God bless and Godspeed!

Paul Nixon

I really need to read my RMN Mail more carefully. Didn’t know this was being circulated. Blessings to each of you, brilliant and faithful servants of the Risen Christ!

Rev. Edward F. Bachman

Good bless you for your courage, your dedication to the United Methodist Church, and your service in ministry. You would all be a great loss to the church.

Jodi Parins

Slaves no more
The courage to take such a bold step out has unbridled the chains! I hold each and every one of you in my heart and pray that God will write on the hearts of others that we are all Her children. Jew or Gentile, Greek or Slave. Gay, Straight, Bi, Trans, Queer, Intra.

Shoahshana Goldberg-Shekelstein

God will smite down you
God will smite down you degenerates.


As a queer teenager and
As a queer teenager and member of the UM church, I just wanted to say thank you. This is incredibly brave of you and means so much. I’m not courageous enough to come out yet, but if I was, I’d want to do it like this!


Wanting to come home… Waiting for the UMC to find its Grace.
I grew up in the UMC. I was active in my church, on the conference youth level,and went to a Methodist College. I proudly support with a joy filled heart some of the beautiful people on this list that I went to college with but I also still mourn the ministries lost because people were outed and not ordained and forced out of ministry because of who God made them to be. I left the church heartbroken but I did not leave God. It’s time to follow the example Jesus set and include all believers as worthy and equal in God’s eyes. Open hearts, Open minds, Open doors… It’s time to mean it.

Pamela Curry

With efforts to restrict my
With efforts to restrict my use of a public restroom playing out in various states I needed some love today.

Thank you

Rev Carolyn Peterson

Called Out
You are my heroes/heroines; without you and your blessed inspiration, there would be no Open Table, no examples of unconditional love, no example of God’s Amazing Grace. Love to you all!! You are my dearly beloved!!


Awful and sad state of the UMC
Anyone who lies to the board to become ordained and then feels a “burden” lifted because they finally came out are only being in and of the world. The purpose of man and women marrying is for procreation and for love. Not just for love. Love does not win. God’s love wins no matter and I believe our just and righteous God does love everyone of their children, but marrying the same sex is justifying an act of immoral pleasure with another person. I’m married to my wife, proudly, and we have kids that may grow up to be gay or not. I will love them the same. What is said in this letter is not an act of bravery. It doesn’t take guts or anything else. I pray each of you are fired from you job and lose your credentials. You have lied to God, to the church you serve and the people you serve. All you want to do is be bankrolled by the UMC while you live out your lies. Sad day. No judgment here. This is not hate speech. It is a sad reality we live in when the pastors that serve our churches have to be lied to and then forced to accept the lifestyle of homosexual couples.

Brandon Hopkins

Love you, Greg Eaton,
Love you, Greg Eaton, Brittany Isaac, Monica Isaac, Trey Hall, and Jonathan Dean. You preach your truths!

Suzanne Woolard

Thank you for the courage to
Thank you for the courage to shine as a beacon to those of us who have been shut out at church, work, and bathrooms. Thank you for getting the word out that you are “different” and loved nonetheless. Your step in faith, although risky, is throwing a lifeline for those not connected “on the down low”. May you become a magnet for those who feel unloved, who have just about given up. May you also be the source of support that parents and families and friends need to find the courage to show love and support to those of us who need it. God Bless!!

Claudia Brogan

Heartfelt thanks and love to each
My heart catches in my throat as I read this brave, brilliant letter. And I looked theough the list of names, sending blessings and light to each signer.May you–each one— be lifted up, be blessed with rock-solid support…from places and faces from whom you might have expected it. AND from many more corners of God’s created world that you might have ever have guessed. I pray and yearn for the UMC to move forward in inclusiveness.


I will stay and give all the
I will stay and give all the love, support and space I can. I was ready to leave the denomination, but if you can be this brave, I want to stand beside you. After reading your letter, I am reminded that every ally in unwelcoming church has an important role. I can be that person. God bless you all.

Douglas B

What the UM Discipline disallows
The article mistakenly faults the UMC for having “required that we not bring our full selves to ministry, that we hide from view our sexual orientations and gender identities.” It is certain behaviors that are Biblically and historically deemed not to be in keeping with Christian teaching by most of the Church worldwide to this day! There are UM LGBTQ clergy who refrain from those behaviors, opening identify their sexual orientation, and bring all their gifts into ministry while honoring their ordination vows.

CJ Slaughter

But wait
How can you all sit here and celebrate the fact that you admit to actively engaging in sin. Homosexuality is not considered a sin, but is a sin. You all have read the bible, (being clergy) and know that that does not please God. How can you stand there and preach that sin is ok? More ever, the definition of marriage is crystal clear. It is even one of the first two commands that God give in Genesis, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Prior to that verse he created Eve for Adam. Not Steve, or Bill or whatever. To that extent I must say, that if you truly are men and women of God, you would obey his commands regardless of how you feel. Congratulations. You have pleased the hearts of man.

Karen Chellquist

Love Letter To Our Church
I resigned my membership in the United Methodist Church after previous General Conference refused to revise the onerous, hurtful language related to homosexuality not being in accordance with Christian teaching. My mind and heart were further opened when I attended RMN conference outside DC in 2013 (?)as an ally. God bless the LGBTQ people with courage to sign off on this letter. For the desire to work for change within their home church. For their fervent desire to remain United Methodists. Prayers for meaningful change. I would love nothing more to renew my membership in the UMC contingent on such change.

David Wade

God bless you all for your
God bless you all for your courage and honesty. I am a straight lifelong member of the Methodist/ United Methodist Church. Because of it’s bigoted views, I was ready to leave the denomination that I love. My minister, John Girard, who I’m proud to see on this list, convinced me to stay, and join him in fighting for Jesus. I did, our church has joined the reconciling network, and I have added my petition to thousands of others to save our denomination from extinction. I pray that it will be enough!

Kevin Baker-Cross

You do not need the permission of the flawed human beings who preside over an imperfect organization to be made whole! You are already whole in God’s eyes, my sisters and brothers in Christ! Your wholeness is something you only need to claim back from those whom you have allowed to have taken it unjustly from you-our UMC leaders. A pension is a pension and a paycheck is a paycheck, but the wholeness of a person is something that we can only allow others to take from us if we choose to. By coming out of the closet professionally on the world stage, you have reclaimed your humanity, and the wholeness that God has always had for you. Hopefully our denomination’s leaders will catch up, but in the end, it really, really does not matter at all…..

Grazia Chiesa

Frank Trotter
I asked Frank Trotter point blank whether he supported gay pastors and the promotion of homosexuality before joining a UMC of which he was the pastor, explaining that we had preteen kids and wanted to know what they would be taught. Frank lied straight into my face.


They should ALL step down
They should ALL step down from their positions NOW

Rich Roecker

THat’s just the point of this letter
We need a church that doesn’t make one have to lie.

Claudia Brogan

Opening the doors and hearts
My heart catches in my throat as I read this brave, brilliant letter. And I looked theough the list of names, sending blessings and light to each signer.May you–each one— be lifted up, be blessed with rock-solid support…from places and faces from whom you might have expected it. AND from many more corners of God’s created world that you might have ever have guessed. I pray and yearn for the UMC to move forward in inclusiveness.

Leslie Etheredge

As one who left my beloved
As one who left my beloved UMC home mainly due to this issue to become a UCC pastor, kudos to you that have stayed. I pray your dedication will finally pay off this summer. I praise you for your awesome courage and conviction!

Rev Leanna Hamilton

My prayer for all of you,
My prayer for all of you, some of whom I shared classes at PSR, is that hearts will be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit, that minds will be open to the will of the Divine. For those of you at your General Conference may your voices be strong and confident as the Spirit uses your voices for all who cannot be there physically. I admire you for staying with your denomination as soon many over the year left instead of standing up.
Blessings to each of you as I know the Divine will give you strength and courage to be the voice of the many.

Benny Young

I applaud those LGBTQI
I applaud those LGBTQI ministers of the UMC who have signed this letter today. At age 19 I was a delegate to the General Conference in 1984 wrestling with these issues in my own life as well as on the conference floor. It was that experience that opened my closet door. The message of Christ to love thy neighbor as thyself finally broke through and brought me peace — or as RuPaul says it, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love anyone else? Thereafter I struggled in college with whether to pursue the ministry in the UMC. It was the mid-80s; it was the beginning of the epidemic; it was a time to ACTUP and fight back. I would not go be closeted in the ministry and eventually wound up in law. I am in public service so my life has been ministry in many ways. But I don’t regret giving it up; in fact I’m happy that 32 years later I’m not a signatory of this letter today having gone through that struggle and I am better off for it. And after the elevation of Gene Robinson as a bishop in the Episcopal Church I finally returned to a church after many years, feeling a home that supported my abiding by the Golden Rule fully. And I have left the UMC for the Episcopal Church.

sam tucker

from a former Methodist
Thanks for your courage. The UMC can no longer stay in the safe middle of tbr road trying to stay out of the fray. Either god is everything, or he is nothing. I left the UMC to find reconciliation in the Episcopal church, where I was readily embraced. My prayer is for the holy spirit’s movement within the hearts and minds of those Methodists in leadership that remain defiant until the end. Godspeed.

sam tucker

from a former Methodist
Thanks for your courage. The UMC can no longer stay in the safe middle of tbr road trying to stay out of the fray. Either god is everything, or he is nothing. I left the UMC to find reconciliation in the Episcopal church, where I was readily embraced. My prayer is for the holy spirit’s movement within the hearts and minds of those Methodists in leadership that remain defiant until the end. Godspeed.

Terry Lucas

“All one in Christ Jesus”
The world categorizes me as a retired, divorced, white, heterosexual, cis-male, boomer. After decades of denying “the faith,” four months ago I walked into the office of Pastor Kim Smith, one of the signers of the above letter. She saw me as God sees me, and was instrumental, along with the example of love set by the congregation of Mt. Tam United Methodist Church, in my returning to a spiritual community where “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus.” My prayer for the “General Conference” of The United Methodist Church is that the Spirit of the above scripture prevail, where we are indeed “all one in Christ Jesus,” rather than the spirit of the world, which seeks to label and divide and judge and ostracize. Terry Lucas, Mill Valley, California

Beverly Walker

What a wonderful statement!!
I appreciate all the courage that has so expressed with your statement and support everyone that signed! I hope that General Conference understands It Is Time!!!

Beverly Walker

Outstanding!! It is Time!
I appreciate all the love that is expressed in this letter and I am so sorry that so much so hurt has been felt by so many! It Is Time!!


letter from lbgtqi community
I can’t believe that so many people are praising this life style. It doesn’t matter how many embrace it , it is still wrong in Gods eyes. It is not just one scripture that clearly tells us that it is wrong but several. God created us to procreate and if you can’t naturally do that, then that should be a clue! The bible speaks of these things in last days and the nerve of the false prophets to boldly go against the creator…This is a sign for all the true believers to pray and look toward heaven because the time is ripe for Jesus to rapture his church.

The Rev deniray mueller

Prayer for Inclusion of ALL God’s Children
God of unbounded love, our sexualities and our gender identities are a blessing and a gift. The desire You give us to express them is a blessing and a gift. But for some of us it feels more like a curse and a burden. Today we remember and grieve the loss of all your children who have suffered and died because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Grant them all the peace and love they weren’t getting to experience here. Surround and comfort all who loved and still love them. Give strength, power, and help to all who are living on the brink of despair. Fix our society. Fix parents whose hearts cannot muster up unconditional love for their children. Fix Your Church so that we freely give ourselves away with the same love that You gave Yourself away with. Bring healing to all those who can scarcely believe in Your outrageous love because it so alien, so far off from their own life experiences. Transform us according to Your love which shall not fail. Amen.

Susan Eshleman

I grew up Methodist, but my principles would not allow me to take my children to any church that I believed acted immorally toward the LGBTQI community. I found two churches that did not, the Unitarian church and the United Church of Christ. The Unitarian church was thought not to be a Christian church, but it was more Christian than the churches who called themselves Christian. I knew Christ would agree. He wants people to behave in a Christian fashion and could care less whether people acknowledge him.

It would not be moral for me to participate in a Methodist church. I had already attended a discriminatory country club as a child and I thought I had already done enough damage by that. Secondly, it would not be good parenting for me to expose my children to the discriminatory Methodist environment. What if my children turned out to be gay? How much harm would I have caused them? Lastly, it has to be highly confusing to children when an entity promotes itself as a moral authority and it isn’t moral. How was I to explain that the church blew it on one issue, but it was right on the others? Certainly it would make any thinking child wonder if the church was wrong on one thing, couldn’t it be wrong on everything else.

I realize my position is more extreme than the positions of LGBTQI pastors above. Here I am a straight person, not directly impacted and still not willing to participate. It’s sort of like how I can’t use the N word, but black people can. I’m very happy the church is realigning itself to a more moral position, but for many people, including me, it’s too little too late. I’ve lost respect for most organized religion and I’ll never regain it. So, yes, the rules are not fair to LGBTQI pastors, but they are also not fair to members with a conscience that doesn’t support the harming of others. This is partly why there is a huge increase in “nones” in our country. People have been driven away.


You are suckered into the political terms. Find out what the Holy God of heaven has said. What man says, thinks or votes is irrelevant to the King. The UMC is full of sinners who have not repented. Jesus died to cleanse us and set us free not allow us to sin freely.

Jim S

While it would be a very difficult decision to leave a denomination that you’ve served faithfully, please know you’d be welcome in the UCC (United Church of Christ). Our member churches are autonomous, and can call as their pastor whom they see fit. We have many LGBTQI pastors, and congregations who have made the commitment to welcome LGBTQI individuals as warmly and openly as all others (we call that process “Open and Affirming”). Please know you have a home.

Judy Nations

Speaking in love and truth
Laws in the O.T. were intended to do two things – establish God’s moral law and/or give laws for the nation of Israel to follow. In the event that certain laws in the OT were only intended for Israel, it is important to look at what the NT says.
In the NT, 1 Cor. 6:9-10 condemns “men who have sex with men”. 1 Tim.1:9-10 includes “the sexually immoral” and “those practicing homosexuality” in a list of things that are “contrary to the sound doctrine”. Verses in Romans 1 talk about God’s judgment for those who reject His truth. “God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
If we explain away these verses as no longer applicable for this generation, then we can easily dismiss other verses – the Bible becomes irrelevant and loses the authority that God intended. This is serious. We are in danger of calling what is evil ‘good’. God never changes, sin never changes. THE PRACTICE OF HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH CHRISTIAN TEACHING.
Medical science may indicate that homosexuality is a state of being, but so is sin! Sin is a state of being. Some are born with a greater tendency to lie, steal or be violent. Are lying and stealing acceptable?
What should we do? Welcome all sinners into our churches and show them God’s love. Romans 12:9 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good”. We must love the sinner, but hate the sin. Hate all sin – don’t ignore “acceptable” sins (like gluttony and gossip) while arrogantly condemning other sins. We are called to love God and our neighbors. If you love God, you will honor His commandments. If you love your neighbors, you will look out for what is in their best interest. It is in everyone’s best interest to know God, accept His truth, and seek to live accordingly.


Christ in me
Jesus was the word , in flesh .. I take on the Word of life … As you do


save the lost
Jesus came to save the lost … Period
He came and died for me, a sinner ..
To bring me back to God


give me The Gospel
Give me The Gospel!!! Or give me Death…. Teach me about Jesus !!!! What does the word say ??? I stand with Paul … To live is Christ , to die is gain … It is NO LONGER I who lives but CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME!!! If I push MY agenda, Is It I??? Or do I take on the life of Christ????

Kathy Holloway

The lack of humbleness and
The lack of humbleness and understanding of God’s word by these members is very discouraging. It seems that pride, power and forced acceptance is your agenda rather than true love for your God and others.
Any Christian church led by the Holy Spirit should welcome each of you with love. However, they could not let you assume roles of leadership and they could not condone or be a part the marriage of two members of the same sex. Deep in each of your hearts you know the truth and I pray that you will let the Lord guide you to an acceptance of it-that you may truly be free to share in the joy and peace of God’s grace and mercy.

In Shock By the Frog in the Boiling Pot of Water

Interesting that molesters
Interesting that molesters have an orientation that maybe they feel is unchangeable. And yet I’m pretty sure society is not going to be happy about them being wholeheartedly welcomed to “live out who they are.” No, molesters tend to have had some childhood experience that has contributed to their “orientation.” If a molester comes “out of the closet,” we may love them, but we’re also going to get them help. They may struggle with a bent toward this specific sin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a sin. People struggle with all kinds of bents toward sins. Why not just make them all acceptable? I think people in this community can have a relationship with God, just like the majority – well everyone! who has a relationship with God still struggles with sin in whatever area. We struggle with sin as a thorn in our side to be more dependent on Christ. But I think if they’re really honest in their quiet times with God, He’ll reveal to them that this wasn’t the hope He had in their best interest when He created them. The reason why they need public recognition of their “orientation” is so that they can feel better about justifying it to even themselves. I don’t doubt they’ve struggled with God on this matter time and again. For them, it’s time to close the door to doubt with God by gaining confidence with man. I will love them just as I will love anybody who walks into the church with whatever sins we have in our past or present. But I won’t try to justify my sins, and I don’t have to justify yours.


give me The Gospel
Give me The Gospel!!! Or give me Death…. Teach me about Jesus !!!! What does the word say ??? I stand with Paul … To live is Christ , to die is gain … It is NO LONGER I who lives but CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME!!! If I push MY agenda, Is It I??? Or do I take on the life of Christ????


Amazing <3
This is wonderful! I hope the members of the general conference take this and use this to change the view of gay marriages in the church. Maybe this will persuade them to allow same sex marriages in church.

Thomas Jones

It’s sad to see the pain and
It’s sad to see the pain and divisiveness this has caused to so many people. It’s also sad that with all of the problems the world is facing that this one issue has been at the core of General Conference for the last 12 years. Quite frankly I believe it is time for the church to split. It’s been at 50/50 and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. It’s time to move on and stop the infighting. Sad but reality often is.


Billy Graham, the most
Billy Graham, the most knowledgeable pastor of at least the last century, was being interviewed by a reporter in San Francisco in 1989. Please remember that San Francisco was the epicenter of the gay movement at that time (and arguably still is). The reporter was trying to trick him into a particular answer. His answer reminded me of how Jesus answered when the Jewish leaders of the day was trying to trick Jesus. Reverend Graham told the reporter that there are greater sins in the world than homosexuality. End of interview. Graham is correct to the core. There are greater sins in the world…..and homosexuality is a sin. Repent.

Susie Maxwell

Thank You!
You are loved and supported. You have done the right thing here. Let’s hope the wider church responds in kind.


This issue
Though Jesus never spoke directly about this sin, He make it clear that we should “go and sin no more”. In spite of all I have read, there will never be a place for open sin in any fellowship of believers. After 20 plus years of ministry and dealing with all manner of people, loving all save those who would not allow love, I have seen the brokenness first hand an am broken hearted. I long to see God’s will be done in this world with all the brokenness. Please don’t waste your time attacking me, I approach you with a sincere heart, I can and do love you all but we all must ” go and sin no more”

Juanita Bryant Goode

Thank you and God Blessings!
May God’s grace and blessings continue to shower upon you and give you strength! Thank you for your courage and bravery. Thank you for serving our church in spite of it’s brokenness.

Steven Starr

thank you…
Thank you to the brave 111. So sad that in 2016 this is a brave position to take but it clearly is. The majority of the responses here are positive but there are clearly people who believe that God will punish those in this community for being who they are, who they were born as. Lisa and Jenny, pray on this, focus on your heart and I know that God will let you know of the love he has for everyone. I thank God that my UMC in Sacramento loves and accepts everyone that comes through their doors…All Means All and there is room at the table of Jesus for everyone…

Al Blackwell

Reading this letter brought
Reading this letter brought me to tears. The UMC is the tradition where I was baptized into the household of faith. In a small southern town during the 1950s and 1960s, it formed my heart to oppose the racial injustices surrounding me. It made me thirsty for the all encompassing love of God and eventually lead me to The Episcopal Church in my later teens. I will be praying for each of you who stand as faithful witnesses by signing this letter. You are living out your baptismal promises with courage and honesty. I will also pray for the General Conference that the Holy Spirit may speak and be heard. We have much work to do together as the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church! – See more at:

Linda Pitts

Thank you all for your bravery and honesty! Yes, IT’S TIME!!

Shelley Propst

I’m so grateful that so many of you have taken this most courageous step, and so sad that it should require so much courage to be an honest member of our church! I am working within my own congregation to become a Reconciling Congregation. If it weren’t for so many allies in my local congregation, I don’t think I could stay in the UMC. I am praying for a miracle at conference. I actually feel like this letter is a miracle in and of itself. Thank you and thank God!

Kath Mitchell

Anyone who votes against inclusion on the basis of a Biblical verse needs to commit Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount to heart and head memory…Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged

Steve J. Hoel

Thank you
To everyone who has signed the letter. Thank you and God bless. It is nice to see that the clergy was in the United Methodist Church believe in Justice for all of God’s children.
Once again thank you very much and blessings to you all

Donna Veatch

111 come out
Hallelujah and Amen!!! It’s said that Jesus’ most common statement in the Bible is, “Fear not.” And the most important are that we should love God and one another, and the most important is love. My faith tells me ‘If God is love, then Love is my god. ‘Nuff said.’

I give thanks for the courage of 11 UMC leaders to emerge with conscience and dignity intact.


This made me cry. Beautiful. Who ever lives by the love in there heart may minister in my book. Could we please leave a “God” out of this? Just be good and kind. Just let beauty take your breath away. God is most likely a myth, but love and kindness are real and most powerful. Is THAT in fact “God”, not some daddy in the sky? Just be as good and kind as you can be. Won’t save you from cancer or some bus from running you down, but at least you will not have foolishly hurt another being.


It’s not about inclusion, it’s about Christ Like Leadership
While the church body should be inclusive and allow all to come to Christ who will, we should never stop sharing the truth in love and that includes true repentance and teaching others to walk in the spirit. Jesus showed Grace to the woman caught in adultery, yet He still commanded to go and sin no more. If you are actively living in sin and still shepherding God’s children you are causing more people to lead a lukewarm life and setting them up for failure by not leading them to seek a life that is holy, righteous and blameless before God. It’s simple, step out of leadership and continue seeking Our Lord and Saviour until He leads you away from your sin.

Lee Trueblood

Wow, so many of my brothers
Wow, so many of my brothers and sisters taking the courage to make a stand in the UMC. God Bless all of you as you minister to ALL people. Let’s stop the judgment and come together and love one another-accept ALL.

Rev. U. Cargill

Called Out
May unity in the Body of Christ prevail. There is always room at the table for all.


I am MORTIFIED that we were
I am MORTIFIED that we were married by a United Methodist pastor, in a UMC church. This is not even a Christian religion any longer

Denise Cawley

Inspired by your faith & bravery
I keep reading this letter over and over. It speaks to my heart on many levels. Your bravery is profound. Your desire to stay in community, in covenant with one another is a tone of peace and desire for understanding. Thank you for calling out the importance to save our young people. 40% of them taking their lives or attempting suicide is horrific. Thank you for writing this with such love and kindness. I want to honor every one of you for your profound valor.

Daniel K. Edwards

Total Acceptance
While not officially a Methodist, I have attended and been active with my local UMC for the past 20 years. I am also the proud father of a transgender person. Perhaps it is time to divide; those who need/want a Christian church that is Open hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors and preaches a loving God….and someplace for those who need/want a “Christian” church with closed hearts, closed minds and slightly open doors (depending who wants to come in), with the wrath, pain and torment of the vengeful Old Testament God of the Hebrews. If the later is your choice, via con dios.


Did not Jesus die to cleanse us from sin? The word of God is clear and nature is also. We must stop sinning, what ever it is. Charles Wesley sang “And my chains fell off and I was free” yet people stay in the slop. Ye (We) must be born again of the Spirit.


Sad Situation
Though I judge not what a person does or doesn’t do regarding their sexuality, God will. Please Methodist clergy, tell me where in God’s Holy and Perfect Word does He approve of sexual conduct between anyone other than a married [to each other] man and a woman. I have read the Bible through twice and I seem to be missing that part.


If biblical theology is truly
If biblical theology is truly important to them then they should ALL STEP DOWN from their positions or the Bishops should remove them ALL from their posts. This is nothing to be proud or support. I guess they count the words of the Bible as nothing, what happened to denying yourself?

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.

2 Thessalonians 3:14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame.

Revelation 2:2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;

Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
A truly sad state for the Methodist Church. If this is allowed it is an APOSTATE church


You are forgiven, and loved.
You are forgiven, and loved. May God open your eyes and your heart!

St. Paul

Your Decision
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Rich Roecker

Thank you- I love you all!
I was baptized, confirmed, receive holy communion, am in covenant with God, and am still active in the Methodist Church. I am GAY! I hope your courageous steps help remove the hateful language in The Book of Discipline so I some day may marry and be buried in the church I love.


This made me cry. What a
This made me cry. What a wonderful letter of love and compassion. How courageous you all are to come out like this. I only wish I was the same. Maybe one day. You have given me hope.


A Love Letter to Our Church
An extremely well written letter signed by over 100 clergy without one line of Scriptural support!


I lost my faith in the UMC
I would have loved to have been able to join this signing, unfortunately I too have left the UMC, within the last month. I was a long standing member for nearly thirty years, got my calling while serving abroad and came back to the United States for my seminary studies. I served my first church in a rural area, hiding my true self as many have in the past, yet the majority of the congregants loved me as one of their own. Long story short my DS gave me three excuses to why I was pulled from the church and “banned” from my conference: 1) If this was 1974 I would be perfect for the position; 2) I was not ordained and there were many who were getting ordination last year and they are promised a placement, so they needed my placement; 3) (and this one was the biggest of all) I did not turn the church around fast enough. Mind you all this took place within six months of me being at the church, so if you are a miracle worker who can turn a church around to growing a couple hundred people in that short of time, kudos to you. This caused me to receive an extra year on my candidacy and miss my deadline with other venues. But I digress. I ended up in a new church setting, one that has the same doctrine as the UMC, called New World Wesleyan Church. The difference is that they do allow openly gay pastors to serve.
It’s unfortunate I couldn’t continue in the denomination that I loved and believed in for so many years, but I think I would rather be somewhere that I can be myself and loved for the work I do as opposed to the bureaucratic mess they have created. I know God calls us all from all walks of life.

Jeani Rice-Cranford, MDiv, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Support, Gratitude
As a future lesbian minister in the United Church of Christ, I thank you for your courage, for your authenticity, and for demonstrating your faith. May you continue to be bright lights in our world.

Ruth Atterberry

Thank you
Thank you for this brave act of self-giving. Your witness makes the UMC stronger.


The apostasy I see in the Church today is absolutely incredible, but then when I look in scripture I see that this is to be expected.

Stop saying that God created you to be gay. God did not create you to be born dead in trespasses and sin. The man that God created in His image was created before The Fall and now we all live under the curse of sin & death. This includes those who are sexually immoral as well as all other sinners, everyone.

If you do not repent of your sins they will not be forgiven you, Christ died for the forgiveness of your sins, not to affirm them.

Paige Flanagan

I’m honored to be part of a
I’m honored to be part of a faith that these 111 are free to speak out and stand for what is right. I pray that we as a church are able to truly stand together with open arms and love ALL as our savior taught us.


Makes me so sad
This just tears at my heart. This is a sin in the eyes of God, and anyone who reads the scriptures can deny that. A sin no worse than any others but a sin. And those who willfully continue to live in sin must face the truth that they do not love and serve the one true God. He is not Lord of their life and most certainly should not be leading in ministry in any capacity. God loves you but He hates sin and He does not call men into ministry who are not living righteous lives, through His power (and He does not call women to leadership positions in ministry, ever). And it breaks my heart that so many who are lost are watching you and being led away from God, rather than to Him by having a repentant heart. You are not preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Now we will see how quickly this post is deleted.

Adam & Eve.


Adam & Eve.

The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

WE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

WE DECLARE the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.

HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

WE WARN that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Pat Myers

Dear “Called Out” “ministers, pastors, etc., have you read Romans 1 lately? Perhaps you should make it available for your conference. Very eyeopening.

Bruce Ross

Love is Love
God is moving everywhere,it’s not easy but it’s right. Stand strong with Love and Faith. Inclusion is the right thing to do today Love Is Love


I think it’s interesting that
I think it’s interesting that all negative comments have been censored. I’m sure my comment will never see the light of day either.

John Vest

PYM Blog
If any of these clergy or candidates are in youth ministry, I’d love to have you write a guest post on the Progressive Youth Ministry blog:

Rev. James Brewster

A Love Letter to our Church
Hooray for your stand and for your love letter to the church, I back you 100%. God Bless you All.

lafe tolliver

Sir: you are sorely deluded if you believe or feel that what they are doing is of the Lord. You are in error because you do not know or submit to the scriptures.
Sin is sin. God is not going to overlook this sin on the basis of your puny opinion which flies in the face of God’s holiness and commandments. You are being taken captive by the Devil. Pray to God to remove your blindness so you can see that you are bound for a devil’s hell unless you repent. This human gibberish about grace and love is not of the Lord.


Winona, read the following
Winona, read the following verse, 35. “But in every nation HE THAT FEARETH AND WORKETH RIGHTEOUSNESS, is accepted with HIM. Fear is to respect God’s ways by observing them and righteousness is to do what is right according to God’s Word. Not according to what we think or feel or how society is changing. “And be Not conformed with the world, but be transformed(by Gods Word & Spirit) by the renewing (not conforming to world) of your mind, then you will live out Gods good, acceptable and perfect will of God (not will of the flesh). Romans 12:2

Mike Lee

I find this letter deeply
I find this letter deeply tragic.

The pall of delusion hangs over it like a death shroud. The Gospel calls us to repent of sin, not mainstream it and pretend God approves. If the Bible is God’s self-disclosed revelation of his will to his people, then sexual immorality, including the practice of homosexuality is rebellion against God’s purpose and will be judged just like any other sin. Be in the world, but not of the world. Repent and be transformed into the people God created you to be instead of deceptive counterfeits.


biblical answers
In both the OT and NT we are told that ALL sexual sin is abhorred by God. A heterosexual person having sex outside of marriage, as defined by God, is as sinful as a gay sexual encounter. In the NT we are told that in the “last days” there will be much sexual immorality, love of self, and hatred for what is righteous. This is an example of man attempting to override God. Sexual sin was clearly defined in the Bible from all angles…we cannot redefine it to fit what we want. We either accept it or reject it…but let’s stop debating how God envisioned sex. That is arrogance at its highest form, to pretend that we can redefine God’s standards. Jesus showed us how to love people but He never condoned sin. The adulterous woman was told not to sin anymore, the woman at the well had been divorced over and over and the rich young ruler would not allow his heart to be fully God’s. Jesus never said, “Ok, define your actions how you want.” He simply loved them and told them the standard to reconciliation with God. Two accepted and one walked away. But Jesus never moved the line. Neither can we move the line that God has drawn.


This Article
I love all people. Not matter their gender, sexual orientation, race, ideology, whatever. But if the Bible is going to be the standard of what we determine to be Christianity, then how does one completely disregard the teachings of Paul concerning the subject of homosexuality, adultery, and fornication. Over and over in the NT, Paul makes it very clear, there is no wiggle room, that such behavior is a sin in God’s eyes, and a sin that will not only keep us out of heaven but send us to hell. We can call it what we want, but that’s what the NT teaches. And I don’t want to hear all the arguments of what he really meant. If he meant something else, then he would have said something else. I like the way it feels to have sex. But as an unmarried man the NT scriptures calls it fornication an says its a sin. I love the feeling of being intoxicated. But again, the NT scriptures teaches that drunkenness is a sin. I would like to tell lies about things that I would choose not to be accountable for. But again, the NT scriptures teach us the lying is a sin and its lifestyle reserves a place, not in heaven, but the Lake of Fire for such behavior and lifestyle. The NT scriptures are plain for all of these behaviors. Being a Christian is so much more than loving people for who they are. And it’s so much more than following rules. However, there is no way around the fact that the Bible teaches us that both loving others and following God’s rules are what sets us apart from the rest of the world. I did not like some of the changes I made one I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, but I had to change because they were sinful behaviors and contrary to what Jesus and the NT scriptures teach. It’s more than simply loving everyone and accepting them for who there are. Followers of Jesus Christ are Changed according to the NT scriptures. The old creature has past away, and behold, All Things Become New. Just because someone does not agree with my behavior that is contrary to what the scriptures teach me I should be now that I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, does not make that person a hater, bigot, or full of condemnation. Jesus and Paul both remind us, that if you see a brother or sister who is living in sin, (contradictory to what the scriptures teach), then go to that person and correct them in love in order that you might save they soul. And to do it in a spirit of humility lest we fall subject to the OBEDIENCE is the mark of Christianity, not self justification because we do not want to conform to the teachings of the very Book We Claim To Find Our Salvation In…


This Article
I love all people. Not matter their gender, sexual orientation, race, ideology, whatever. But if the Bible is going to be the standard of what we determine to be Christianity, then how does one completely disregard the teachings of Paul concerning the subject of homosexuality, adultery, and fornication. Over and over in the NT, Paul makes it very clear, there is no wiggle room, that such behavior is a sin in God’s eyes, and a sin that will not only keep us out of heaven but send us to hell. We can call it what we want, but that’s what the NT teaches. And I don’t want to hear all the arguments of what he really meant. If he meant something else, then he would have said something else. I like the way it feels to have sex. But as an unmarried man the NT scriptures calls it fornication an says its a sin. I love the feeling of being intoxicated. But again, the NT scriptures teaches that drunkenness is a sin. I would like to tell lies about things that I would choose not to be accountable for. But again, the NT scriptures teach us the lying is a sin and its lifestyle reserves a place, not in heaven, but the Lake of Fire for such behavior and lifestyle. The NT scriptures are plain for all of these behaviors. Being a Christian is so much more than loving people for who they are. And it’s so much more than following rules. However, there is no way around the fact that the Bible teaches us that both loving others and following God’s rules are what sets us apart from the rest of the world. I did not like some of the changes I made one I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, but I had to change because they were sinful behaviors and contrary to what Jesus and the NT scriptures teach. It’s more than simply loving everyone and accepting them for who there are. Followers of Jesus Christ are Changed according to the NT scriptures. The old creature has past away, and behold, All Things Become New. Just because someone does not agree with my behavior that is contrary to what the scriptures teach me I should be now that I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, does not make that person a hater, bigot, or full of condemnation. Jesus and Paul both remind us, that if you see a brother or sister who is living in sin, (contradictory to what the scriptures teach), then go to that person and correct them in love in order that you might save they soul. And to do it in a spirit of humility lest we fall subject to the OBEDIENCE is the mark of Christianity, not self justification because we do not want to conform to the teachings of the very Book We Claim To Find Our Salvation In…


Thank you for your courage.
Thank you for your courage.
Laurie Ann Rookard

Kip Niswonger

Methodist Member
The only proper course of action is to remove you from your position. This is sin and God requires all sin to be confessed and turned from. To not do so is to not repent. You know full well that the scriptures declare that God does not change. He has declared all these sins to be abominations. Anyone that declares that this is not a sin does not know their scriptures or is choosing to ignore them.

Jesse R. Hake

Not Ashamed . . .

I stand hear boldly before you all with tears in my eyes as a righteous and holy anger burns deeply within the very depths of my soul and my earnest hope and prayer is this:


I come to you as a man of God who has struggled with lust and sexual immorality of all kinds my entire adult life who has also had the burning and yearning to take on pastoral ministry, myself, and yet, has decided to obediently remain where I am, instead.

As I read the holy scriptures I take notice of the epistles of the Apostle Paul and his clear and divine instruction to the Church on the proper qualifications to both take part in church leadership and to lead in a pastoral setting. Though, his teaching may seem “outdated” and “archaic” to some, I acknowledge it as true godly wisdom for the Body of Christ that most unfortunately has been cast to the wayside in these latter times of Church history.

According the scriptures, it would not merely be unwise for a man of God like me (who struggles with lust towards both men and women) to attempt to take on the pastoral role in a church congregation, it would also be a direct violation of God’s sacred statutes. Therefore, even as I continue to struggle, I still have the common sense and LOVE to know that for me to rebelliously pursue a pastoral calling during this time of my life without a proven season of repentance, would make me a far greater liability than asset to the Body of Christ.

How so? Because should I fall into temptation along the way, not only would I bring much confusion, hurt, and suffering to the Church in the wake of my moral failure but even more, I would invite the continued mockery and ridicule towards the Church from those who remain outside the spiritual covenant that unifies God’s holy and chosen ones.

Therefore, I come before you with tears and with righteous indignation to whosoever will listen to my words and turn away from this satanic rebellious attitude in allowing gays, lesbians, transgenders, etc., to both take leadership positions and pastoral positions in the Church of God Almighty:

Repent! Remove ALL of these sheep in wolves clothing that we have allowed to infiltrate the flock of Christ, at once!

They do not belong in the Body of Christ as they are and where they stand, in wholly defiance of God’s written word and in unashamed tolerance of those things which God has forbidden among the saints. Every single one of you “Reverends” who signed this “love” letter, repent! Turn away from your sin! Let your laughter become tears and joy become gloom! Resist the devil and he will flee from you! Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Wash your hands, O sinners, and cleanse your hearts you double-minded!

Listen to me, Church, I beg you. God WILL NOT hear our corporate prayer to heal and restore our land as long as we allow for gays, lesbians, transgenders, etc., to lead in our church congregations. We must remove the evil from within the Body of Christ as ‘judgment begins in the house of the Lord’. While it’s true that we have no right to judge those outside of the Church, when they begin to infiltrate our own flocks, then and only then do we remove them one-by-one.

Let them start up their own satanic rebellious gatherings elsewhere but let not even a hint of sexual immorality be mentioned among the saints of God!

As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

I therefore openly and publicly condemn this “love” letter and in holy rebuke call the Church to repent of her sin.

“However, I don’t consider my life of any value, except that I might finish my course and the office I received from the Lord Yeshua, to declare the Good News of the grace of God.” -Acts 20:24


May freedom be found from
May freedom be found from this longstanding oppression. It is our inheritance in Christ. Romans 6:16

Minister or Pastor Matthew Beatty

Love Is Love
I believe God made us all the some in this image

Elaine Bailey-Fryd

May you be blessed, as you

May you be blessed


Lbgti issue
Church members – you run traffic lights, you exceed speed limits, you “fudge” on your taxes, you gossip about “friends,” you had sex outside of marriage, you divorce, you look down upon those of other races in your heart . . . And yet you quickly find a Bible verse to judge those who are only trying to live as God made them. Examine yourself honestly before you condemn.

The true Church

You are right there is no
You are right there is no place for sin in any of our lives. You are judged by the same measure you judge. But, you cannot use the argument because “they” sin I can sin. Also, none of those people you listed are trying to ram their sin down the throat of the church as being acceptable.


Knowing who you serve might
Knowing who you serve might help in such situations……..I mean by the looks of things I can say this is a simple case of a delima, way way…..way “overstretched”


Lisa Yates

I am so profoundly touched by
I am so profoundly touched by your letter and your faithfulness to God and his creation. You are all exactly whom God created you to be: loving, spirit-filled, followers of Christ, CALLED BY GOD to serve his people! Accepting and embracing all that God created us to be is an area in which we, the church, desperately need to work. Thank you all for your courage, your care, your patient love, your grounded faith, your deep insights, and your faithful leadership.
It is my prayer that our church will truly and finally understand and fully practice what it means to open our hearts, open our minds and open our doors, and allow GOD to touch our lives and speak to our souls in ways many of us cannot yet imagine. May we finally turn and bless your lives and ministry as you have so faithfully lovingly blessed our lives!

Rev. Leah Mikel Wells

A Love Letter
Count me in! I stand with you and uphold this statement 100%! May God bless the United Methodist Church and its Body with wisdom, tolerance, and love.

Mary - A Servant of Jesus Christ

It is sad that so many people do not know the Holy Word of God and His laws and precepts. Please read God’s Holy Word in regards to what He states is the guidelines for people to be placed in Church leadership roles over others. These guidelines placed by God is to help us, not to hurt us. Don’t believe what the Devil is whispering into your itching ears. May the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit open your heart and mind to His truth!

R. Joshua Whitton

Interesting, isn’t it?
Today, the people are working diligently to serve two masters. God and the church. Unfortunately, they are not aligned. I Corinthians 13:13 is quite clear. The GREATEST of these is love. So then, why is the church doing the opposite? Because it doesn’t know God’s Love. I’ve turned my back on the church since it turned its back on me. I can openly and freely serve God without the approval and support of a church and have done so for many years.

Let the church continue to go down in numbers and support. Eventually, it will die. But, God will still remain.

Starr McVey

The covenant of baptism has
The covenant of baptism has knit us all together. We are all cradled into the body of Christ. We continue to help each other know the grace of God that moves all of us into a deeper relationship with the Almighty. We still invite you to listen …truly listen to God’s call. You are still embraced. So, let me understand your “Love Letter” …The Methodist Church welcomed you as pastors, youth leaders, district superintendents, bishops, professors, missionaries et al…knowing all along what your sexual orientation was? Your letter states that. It says that the church required you not to bring your “full selves” to the ministry. You say the church asked you to hide your sexual orientation from view? You say as long as you did this the church gladly affirmed you? Did I read this right? One thing you said in your letter was you cannot legislate against God’s call. That’s one truth. No…you can’t legislate against His call. I think you are trying to. Yes, all people are made in the image of God and yes…all are welcomed into the community of faith. We are to meet people where they are and be Christ to them. We are to help people know the error of their ways and to be open to our own errors. We are not to judge. We don’t have that given to us. Once we judge we will find ourselves on our face in front of the throne of God being judged for the same. My prayer for this conference is that God would allow all attendees to “see God” in those around them. That God would open all eyes. My prayer is that God would teach us to overcome our sinful thoughts, pride and selfishness. That God would open all hearts to forgive…..maybe because we just don’t know what we’re always doing. I pray that the Holy Spirit would take away any negative attitude and guide us all in the way that leads to life. I pray God would make us more sensitive to HIS and HIS only promptings.

Jennifer Walters, Ph.D.

In support of inclusivity
God does not make mistakes; approximately 10% of the world’s population is homosexual, (numbers increase utilizing LGBTQI). To judge Our Creator is foolishness. Thank you to all who have the courage to speak & live your truth openly; & to all working for a open, accepting & inclusive church. May God bless your witness.

The True Church

It is true that God does not
It is true that God does not make mistakes. God created Adam and Eve perfectly. They chose sin. Everyone born into this world is born sinful. You were conceived in and born into sin and are a sinful creature by your very nature and crave sinful acts against God, against yourself, and against your fellow man. The church is inclusive, God accepted you when you repented of your sins and accepted him.


Yes! And not just within
Yes! And not just within humans, but with another creatures as well!

Emily Bennett

I see all of my LGBTQI
I see all of my LGBTQI friends and family as what they are, children of God who deserve to be loved and cherished. I just want to make clear that everyone who is commenting, saying you love them but you won’t support the sin they live, you should know that if a sin is what is holding you back from loving the person they are, then please note that God sees every sin equally. So every single time you choose to lie or directly disobey your parent; every time you choose to turn your back on a child of God or look at something with lust, you are on equal ground. Please note that this church still chooses to love and support all you are. We choose to wrap our love and grace around you even though you are a sinner. When you oppress an LGBTQI person, you oppress God. We are made by God in the Face of God and so when you push others down you are putting yourself before God.

Lisa K. Street

Comment to love letter to UMC
I have been a Methodist all of my life (I am 63 years old now). I want the church to welcome ALL people. LBGTQI should be accepted and treasured as being honest and true to themselves and to God, who created them. UMC needs to be a beacon of light to all !!!


This article
This is very typical of these arguments. The progressive liberals overflow with sweet superlatives and then blast everyone else on the other side. How dare you have an opinion, even if you can back it up with scripture. I always thought the best part of being a liberal was that you appreciate other sides to any argument. However these past 10 years or so look at how conservative thought has been criticized from college campuses on down. Conservatives are “haters”. Far from it.

Drew HJ

waiting for the church to catch up
I actually dropped out of seminary when I found out that I could not be ordained in my “inclusive” church. I was shocked, but I realized it was not my church’s fault, but rather out-dated practices of the denomination. Please get it right this time, UMC.


“The wrath of God is being
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:18-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Rev. Earl Kammerud

Comment on the backwardness of our denomination
We have said that we are “open” as part of our motto. Yet part of us are so unable to even think that children of God could be anything but “straight”. LGBT persons, baptized and believing in the love of God are truly accepted by God, even if part of the church says they are not..

Rev. Roger Wolsey

I’d like to sign too.
Please add my name to this. Thank you.

Sean Johnson

I pray that “Grace” be our
I pray that “Grace” be our ‘METHOD’ and for us His Unity!

Roger Curless

Let’s Serve All God’s People
Thanks to those who have taken this bold step and thank God for all who continue to work for change in the UMC. For an institution called together to serve God’s people to continue to practice exclusion is the real sin. We do God’s work together for ALL of God’s children.

The True Church

I do not say any of this out
I do not say any of this out of hate, but out of love. We are supposed to lovingly admonish our brothers and sisters in Christ if they are outside the will of God so they will return to His will.
I find it interesting the apologists for the LGBTQI clergy/community never quote any actual scripture to back up there claims that what they do is not against Gods will. they spend all their time trying to debunk the scriptures that are presented against them. They talk about the generalities of God’s love for them and there love for God. Yes God does love everyone. What he does not love is the sin in their lives. While grace can wash over that sin, sin is still not acceptable in the sight of God. No one who actively embraces sin should be in the clergy.

Romans 1:20-32
20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

There are no scriptures that describe two men or two women having “relations” as being natural.
There is no scriptural argument that can contradict Romans 1:20-32. Romans talks about men and women abandoning the “natural” relations for “unnatural” ones.

Rev. Dr. Nicholas S. Mitrovich

A church divided
It would be honest and helpful if the United Methodist Book of Discipline acknowledge that the UMC like all other Christian churches is strongly divided on whether or not LGBTQ persons should be fully included in the life of the Church. The church is not God and, therefore, we all must live faithfully praying for God’s guidance in a church that is far from perfect. We disagree but we all deserve a place in Christ’s church.

John Stephenson

I am a straight,conservative
I am a straight,conservative servant of God. I am a leader in my Methodist Church. I have come to God the past 15 years to balance my life and I have been so blessed by him to have the opportunity to experience Love of all people as He has taught me.I will always embrace everyone who has the courage to stand up for the those who cannot . The Church is in need of more courageous people like you so that all the world can be led to God through love and grace.

Suanne Honey

Love Letter to Our Church
The courage and the honesty of each of you is grace in and of itself. Hopefully that grace will spread creating peace, non-judgment and tolerance for all persons regardless of our differences.

Bob Kerr

I applaude this letter . All who have signed it show a great deal of courage and a great love for God. I once was privy to a conversation between a young Catholic priest and an elderly woman concerning the way the young man dressed. His clothing was loud,his hair was spiked and he had an earring. This was clearly unacceptable to the old woman. After he heard all of her negative comments he respectively said ” When God called me, he did not tell Me what to wear” .
This young man has been a pillar in the community clearly serving his flock guided by the Love and presence of God. I know God does not care what we wear. He loves us for who we are ,not what we are.

Lisa P

Thank you
Thank you for all of the bishops and ministers who have stood up for LGBTQI inclusion-within the United Methodist Church. It is so shocking to see such anti-love words coming from the commentary from ministry who are opposed to full inclusion of all of God’s children. I find it so hypocritical to read comments about repenting person from people who sit in judgment.

Gloria Myles

A Love Letter to Our Church
My heart bleeds for our church. Let us remember that scripture can be found to support any position we care to espouse. Why, not that long ago, the Church embraced slavery and its son “Jim Crow” was supported by scripture. But as the poet, James R Lowell reminds us “Time makes ancient good uncouth”.
We are all sinners and stand in the need of grace; God’s and our fellow Christians.As a black Methodist, old enough to recall the Central Jurisdiction for us who were committing sin by being black (progeny of Ham), count me on the side of those who believe that love trumps all. Scripture says so.

Jo Miller

Thank you so much for your
Thank you so much for your stand, especially for insisting that leaving your church is not a good option for you.

I’m an old white, straight woman living in the rural South and a life long Methodist. For me, too, leaving the church would be so painful. I love my church. I love the people in it. But I don’t always like the things they do.

Thank you for explaining why splitting the church would be so painful for many of us.

Jeri Reed

A Love Letter to Our Church
We are aware that we are dropping numbers in our youth. Young people are so much more willing to see others as Jesus did than older people (of which I am one) who are so resistant to change of any kind. (Never forget the Church’s sanction of segregation.) If we don’t learn to love and accept God’s children as Jesus did, and if we don’t stop thinking we are appointed judges here on earth–God is the only judge–we are going to see God’s Houses of worship empty through the years until the last of us sit, aged and huddled together, playing God to the end and wondering where God is.

Jenny Hanniver

From an ex Methodist
I’m white and straight, 80 years old, a mom and grandma, read the Bible for social justice inspiration and poetic exaltation, am a lay leader, use my MA in Theology almost every day. I grew up a Methodist in the Midwest until we moved South when I was 15, and it was in Sunday School, church, MYF and summer Camp Byron that I learned the wonder and beauty of being ethically religious. But after boys in my Florida parish church were caught painting swastikas on a synagogue and shoving black people off the sidewalk into the gutter, I was ashamed to identify as a Methodist. So I left at 17 and became a Seeker, looking for a church that actually practiced Christian ethics–not easy to find in the South then or now. But after trying many others I renewed my soul in the Unitarian Fellowship in my university at the age of 19, and not long after I’d joined we were arrested in 1956 for civil rights activities. I knew I’d found a home. Of course UU has faults but it’s been my nurturing center for 61 years. My faith encompasses everything! UUs have embraced LGBTQ members, and ministers, for many decades. I love the UM church, too, so please do your best to wean your parishes away from setting up false idols. Remind them of the Second Commandment, that the worship of graven images–like Biblical idolatry, kowtowing to a badly flawed translation of an inspired but human-written collection of evolving wisdom, exaggerated history, poetry and genuine spiritual guidance–is unwise at best, at worst sinful. The Bible, or anything else other than God, should not be worshiped, and never, ever, placed above love. Our purpose here is simple but immense: to help bring loving changes and make an end to fear, injustice and exploitation.

Melissa Allison

Sunday 6-5-16
I’m very new to you Methodists and Wesleyan thinkers. I’ve come calling after many years away from any Christian church due to Christian abuse around my sexuality and who I am.

I set foot onto Campbell UMC (Campbell, CA) this past Easter morning after finding them on I was welcomed by that kind and loving congregation like a long lost friend. The inclusive, intelligent message from the pulpit that morning spoke of Christ’s resurrection making way for my own life’s resurrection each and every day. Those words found their way into my skeptical and wounded heart. It felt good to begin opening up again.

CUMC continues to provide safe harbor from a long and very stormy journey around Christianity and myself. As I continue to spend time there, my heart is healing and I find myself wanting to serve others and be of use. My life is changing for the better.

I find it deeply inspiring that these honest, open, thoughtful and brave human beings signed their names to a letter that not only shows how deeply they love the Methodist faith and it’s leadership but also leaves each of them standing religiously naked before the world UMC congregation.

As I read both the “Love Letter to Our Church” and the “Bishops’ Pastoral Response”, I find myself literally crying for you UMC. To see you embroiled in this bitter family struggle is heartbreaking.

I pray that you can show the love and kindness you have shown me within your own ranks of leadership and service. From my newcomer perspective, this raging storm of an argument that has apparently been going on for some time seems such a waste of your good intellect and loving heart.

lafe tolliver, certified lay servant @ Braden UMC Toledo OH

homsexuality in the UMC
Without being politically correct, I would say that those clergy who have identified with their sins are sinners in need of a savior…Jesus Christ. They are living in sin and do not know Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins.
It is impossible for them to identify as being born again but they they revel in their sin of homsexuality and do so under the pretense that love conquerors all. They are in violation of known scriptures for their sinful lifestyle but yet they exult in it! These are apostates of the first order and they are condoning their sin and the sins of others who are ensnared by the Devil into thinking that they are ministers of God! What a delusion or a deception that their Father, The Devil, who is the father of all lies, has placed them under a false premise that what they are doing is OK with God! God does not partner with sin but yet these apostates actually believe that they are in a righteous standing with God. Oh, to be so foolish and deceived at the same time!
May God grant them mercy to see the error of their ways and they will come out of the clutches of bondage to their sins. A simple reading of 1 John would convict them that their position is totally bogus and without merit but they have chosen to believe a lie…a lie that if they continue to believe will earn them a place in Hell and then the Lake of Fire. Repent and believe the gospel!


The old Testament contains
The old Testament contains many of the verses about the sin of gay life. The New Testament brings us God’s Son, Jesus, who asks us to forgive all sin and love everyone. I think I will follow God’s Son.

Ann Creed

Church Stance on Abortion
What a difference it could make if this many clergy or even laity would sign a letter opposing abortion. God has made it clear that He knows us before we are born and has a plan for each of us and how United Methodist clergy can stand and bless an abortion clinic is beyond belief. We speak so much about love, but show no remorse for the lives of helpless children that are being sacrificed. My standard question for those who support abortion is “How do you think God feels about abortion” and as yet no one has ever answered me.

Frank Siegle

The book of discipline and the LGBTQ question.
Religions have been split between the legalists and advocates for a rigid observance of ritual, creed, doctrine, and our relationships to each other and God ( however named and construed) and those who hold to the core principles of love and compassion for our fellow creatures and all things. Christianity has its own pharisees, those for whom control and rigid adherence to whatever is deemed everyone MUST adhere to in order to be considered pure and members of the community. Certainly that is the issue, as it has been always withing Methodism. We split over slavery. Bringing women into full participation was long in coming. The likelihood we will split over the gay issue I fear is inevitable.

As Clarence Darrow said in the Scopes trial: “The Bible is a book. It’s a good book, but it’s not the only book.” It is a Christian’s guide and should be a comfort and inspiration, but it is not God. To treat it in the same league as God is idolatry, in my opinion. It has gone through the hands of perhaps thousands of scribes, using different languages in different language families, and, because of all that, subject to human fallibility. To take so human an undertaking as God is, in my view, idolatrous.
If we proof text ourselves into a strait jacket we lose all context and deep meaning and the texts themselves can become pernicious.

The best all of us can do is to acknowledge our human differences and accept them in love. Perhaps every congregation should decide for itself its own understanding of this thorny issue. The church must something like this if it is to avoid schism.

Who is right? Which side? I don’t think we can, in absolute terms, know. Can we, as Christians, following Christ’s example and call to love, put our sense of righteousness and accept that our individual interpretations of Scripture may have the same human flaws that color all of our existence?

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