Dear Bishop Farr,
As United Methodist pastors and church leaders in Missouri, we write to express dissatisfaction with the decisions of the 2019 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. We grieve the words and decisions that were made to exclude and restrict theological diversity within the church. Demands for rigid theological conformity deny our Wesleyan heritage and the rich diversity of the body of Christ. Too often, our silence as clergy has done harm to the Church and to our LGBTQIA+ siblings. So, we are lifting our voices as we process the harm caused by the General Conference’s actions.
The traditionalist view of the General Conference does not reflect our own hopes and dreams for The United Methodist Church. More importantly, we believe that it does not reflect the hopes and dreams of God.
We support a fully inclusive church for all people, including LGBTQIA+ persons.
We support the ordination of qualified LGBTQIA+ persons called and gifted for licensed and ordained ministry.
We support allowing clergy and churches to officiate marriage for LGBTQIA+ persons within their convictions.
We support allowing clergy and churches to contextualize their ministry to fit the diversity of communities in Missouri.
We support your leadership in helping us be a conference which allows for theological diversity and contextual ministry, especially around issues regarding human sexuality.
We recognize any policy that criminalizes ministry with the LGBTQIA+ community as incompatible with Christian teaching.
Bishop, we know how much you love Christ, the Church and the Missouri Conference. We appreciate your leadership, and we ask you to lead boldly in helping us be a Church for all people throughout Missouri.
In service to Christ,Pastors of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church