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A Statement of Lament, Confession, and Commitment
We the undersigned clergy of the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church lament the pain caused by the decisions of the 2019 General Conference, confess our complicity in contributing to the harm done, and commit ourselves to a new expression and connection of Methodism that is fully inclusive of all people, particularly LGBTQ persons, in the full life of the church, including marriage and ministry.

WE LAMENT the harm that the 2019 General Conference and the adoption of the Traditional Plan caused to members of the LGBTQ community, both within and beyond our churches. LGBTQ individuals and families have led, served, and given faithfully in so many of our congregations and communities. In denying marriage and ordination for LGBTQ persons, we are denying the work of God in and through these individuals and relationships.

WE LAMENT the pain to people across the church. In following the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the simple rule of John Wesley, we proclaim that it is time to stop doing harm. While we are grateful for those who tirelessly worked to preserve unity, and are saddened by the rejection of those efforts by the General Conference, we recognize that it is time to stop trying to remain united merely for unity’s sake.

WE LAMENT a United Methodist system that has caused such harm. We mourn an institution, a family we love, that is broken and dying. We feel the heaviness of grief and loss.

WE CONFESS that as pastors we have not helped our congregations to read and study the Bible in a Wesleyan Way, by using scripture, tradition, reason, and experience to draw conclusions about faithful Christian living. We have not helped them realize a diversity of faithful interpretations of the text.

WE CONFESS that we have not spent enough time building relationships with and advocating for all marginalized people. We acknowledge our role in the years of pain, struggle, negligence, and spiritual violence that has led us to this point. For too long, people have been excluded because of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ability, citizenship, and others not named here, and we have been silent.

WE CONFESS being too complicit in our need for security and our fear of losing safety. We ask forgiveness for too often loving polity more than people.

Yet, WE RECOGNIZE the presence of the Holy Spirit. Like Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10, we recognize the Holy Spirit has already been at work in LGBTQ families, individuals and colleagues. Many serve Jesus faithfully, leading and living out spiritual gifts in ways that build up the Body of Christ. We believe the Spirit has also been at work to transform the structures and systems of our denomination, to create a new wineskin for new wine, for a new day.

Therefore, WE COMMIT ourselves to affirming and participating in what God is already doing. We choose not to be stumbling blocks, choosing instead to live in the joy of life and ministry that fully includes all people, especially our LGBTQ siblings.

WE COMMIT ourselves to discovering and creating a new expression of Methodism that is fully inclusive of our LGBTQ siblings in marriage, ministry and the full life of the church. We believe there may be many ways for this to happen that can be explored by many groups at various levels of our connection. We remain open to possibilities, committing ourselves not to a specific path or plan, but to a direction.

WE COMMIT ourselves to preserving the parts of our Wesleyan Methodist tradition that give life: our evangelical passion for reaching people with the healing love of Jesus Christ, the primacy of God’s grace, and our devotion to the Bible by reading/studying in a thoughtful and Wesleyan way. We commit to preserving our balance of personal piety and social justice, our inclusive diversity, and a passion for transforming the world through lives of intentional discipleship. Most of all, we commit to preserving hearts of love.

WE WILL MOVE FORWARD, not from a place of anger or resentment, but from hearts of grace and a passion for inviting others into the abundant life of Jesus Christ. We will live intentionally, with hearts of love and courage, into an expression of Methodism that is fully inclusive of all marginalized people: persons of color, ages, ability, gender identity, socio-economic status, citizenship and our LGBTQ siblings in Christ.

Therefore, WE ARE CALLING all who sign onto this letter to be a part of a clergy gathering called "A Cry for Hope: A Clergy Gathering to Lament and Lead" at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando, FL. 32819), on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It will be important for us to come together for prayer and worship, as well as planning how we will approach the 2019 Annual Conference and 2020 General Conference.

You can register for the May 7 Clergy Gathering at the following link:

(Note: Registration will be open starting Monday, April 1. Please register no later than Friday, May 3)

1. Brett Opalinski
2. Magrey deVega
3. Susan Gray
4. Scott Smith
5. Jennifer Stiles-Williams
6. Matthew M. Williams
7. Melissa Cooper
8. Andy Oliver
9. Jad Denmark
10. Mary Downey
11. Corey Jones
12. Shelly Denmark
13. Beth Farabee
14. Esther Rodriguez
15. Becky Rokitowski
16. Emily Sterling
17. Josh Bell
18. Tracy Hunter
19. Sarah B. Miller
20. Emily Hotho
21. Jim Harnish
22. Tom Nelson
23. Kandace Brooks
24. Steve Harper
25. Peter Cottrell
26. David Dodge
27. Rob Parsons
28. Vance Rains
29. Jack Ladd
30. William Barnes
31. Melissa Pisco
32. Marta Burke
33. Wayne Curry
34. Michelle Shrader
35. Robin Hager
36. Emily Knight
37. J. E. McWhinnie
38. Jill Lindsey Auman
39. Carolyn Hall Williamson
40. Jennifer Potter Buff
41. Monique McBride
42. Caitlin Allyn White
43. Melissa Stump
44. Todd Bardin
45. Roy M. Terry IV
46. Sarah Campbell
47. Betsy Ouellette-Zierden
48. Clare Watson Chance
49. Beth Gardner
50. Kristyne Young
51. Vicki Walker
52. Stacey Spence
53. John Denmark
54. Patti Aupperlee
55. Laura Berg
56. Mark Charles
57. Nathan P. Adams
58. Christine Allen Holden
59. Bob Brown
60. Daryl Allen
61. Sean Peters
62. Anne Burkholder
63. Jason Knott
64. Annette Stiles Pendergrass
65. Augustus Allen II
66. Daphne Johnson
67. Clarke Campbell-Evans
68. Sally Campbell-Evans
69. Allee Wilcox
70. Latricia Edwards Scriven
71. Andrea Byer-Thomas
72. Emily Edwards
73. Jack Stephenson
74. Bernard Lieving Jr.
75. Joshua Beaty
76. Debbie Keller Allen
77. Carrie Yoder
78. Melynne Rust
79. Gary A. Marcelin
80. Emily Denmark McGee
81. David Stephens
82. Chris Jones
83. Madeline Luzinski
84. Ivan Gonzalez Jr.
85. Amy Greene
86. Stephanie Campbell
87. June Edwards
88. Gary Spencer
89. Jeff Stiggins
90. Beth Bostrom
91. Dan Johnson
92. John E. Griswold
93. Esther Robinson
94. Terri Hill
95. Justin LaRosa
96. Ivan Corbin
97. Conner C.J. Hill
98. Catherine Fluck-Price
99. John Hill
100. Matthew Kern
101. Erick Ashley
102. Steve Price
103. Mark M. Stiles
104. Kevin Johnson
105. Barbara M. Stiles
106. Ben M. Richards
107. Bob Bushong
108. Sara McKinley
109. Ben Collins
110. John Wallis
111. Tracie Ashley
112. Roy A. Carter
113. Martha Rutland
114. Wayne Cook
115. Val Hattery
116. Beth Fogle-Miller
117. Bridget Thornton
118. Jana Hall-Perkins
119. Ryan DeLaune
120. Bill Fisackerly IV
121. Lee Hall-Perkins
122. Pam McMillan
123. Nancy E. Stiles
124. Mike Shirley
125. LeeAnn Inman
126. Priscilla A. Scherrah
127. Heather Harding
128. Mark E. Reynolds
129. Dawn S. Liphart
130. Beth Demme
131. Bethany Douty
132. Nelson Cowan
133. Samantha Cowan
134. Nicole Logan
135. Christopher Haden
136. Sidney Tompkins
137. Sarah McIntosh
138. Elyse Milligan
139. Audrey Warren
140. Michael Pestel
141. Katie Pestel
142. James Lake
143. Jim Folge-Miller
144. Raymond L. Gass
145. Hugh Lake
146. Cynthia Weems
147. Lisa Lefkow
148. Lenora Rousseau
149. Dan Jackson
150. Katie Lineburger
151. Robert Pearcy
152. Virginia Pearcy
153. Charissa Jaeger-Sanders
154. Aaron Rousseau
155. Diane Gutierrez
156. Jim Divine
157. Kim DuBreuil
158. Marguerite Matthews
159. Garrett Rocha
160. Ron McCreary
161. Dora Thomas
162. Larry Rankin
163. Anna D. Scharbo
164. Joel Pancoast
165. David A. Williamson
166. Danny Bennett
167. Harold Henderson
168. Tom McCloskey
169. Walter Dale Edwards
170. Chris Sanders
171. Gene Zimmerman
172. Zachary Hutchinson
173. Jan Richardson
174. Missy Hart
175. Dan Wunderlich
176. Shannon Harris
177. Tony Chance
178. Sharon Davis
179. Bruce Jones
180. Brian Hurley
181. Waite Willis
182. Frank Fitzsimmons
183. Merrill Frailey
184. Andy Whitaker Smith
185. John Powers
186. Shane McIntosh
187. David Miller
188. Bob Martin
189. Lynn Batista
190. Pam Dubov
191. David Averill
192. Wilma I. Reyes
193. Timothy McNeil
194. Debbie Casanzio
195. David Fuquay
196. Anne Fuquay
197. Alyce Parmer
198. James M. Morgan
199. Paul Butler
200. Eric McCrea
201. T. Glenn Bosley-Mitchell
202. Ann Hutchens
203. Jim Mitchell
204. David McEntire
205, Nancy Griswold
206. Peytyn Tobin
207. Patricia M. Daniels
208. David Carefoot
209. Barbara Hynes
210. Eugenia Joyce Alexander
211. Nancy Mayeux
212. Don Pratt
213. Jim Berlau
214. Rachel Hughes
215. Rafe Vigil
216. Rachel DeLaune
217. Kelly Greenawald
218. Scott Baker
219. Mike Moxley
220. Will Wold
221. Meghan Killingsworth
222. David Killingsworth
223. Linda Tice
224. Morrell Robinson
225. Janet Horman
226. Frank Adams
227. Kathi Sheehan
228. Paul Massingill
229. Amy Scroggin
230. Sue Corley
231. Kathy Nolasco
232. Scott Harris
233. Timothy May
234. Steve Painter
235. Haley Eccles
236. Pam Cahoon
237. Meredith McMillan
238. Betty Batey
239. Drew Parsons
240. William Yeager
241. Anne Godbold
242. Juanita Goode
243. John Willis
244. Pam Feeser
245. Marsha Wiggins
246. E. Keith Ewing
247. Will Clark
248. Tim Wright
249. Pat Turner-Sharpton
250. David Lindsay
251. Michele Van Son Neill
252. Archie Buie
253. Doug Hallman
254. Wayne Wiatt
255. Jim Martin
256. Bill Sherman
257. Bob Gibbs
258. Dean Brown
259. Carol Green
260. Mont Duncan
261. Matt Wallis
262. D. Douglas Clewis
263. Donald Dial
264. Thom Shafer
265. Sharon Patch
266. Tom Marston
267. Bud Carroll
268. Jim Rosenburg
269. Bob Titus
270. Saraianne Maiselle
271. Alex Carmichel
272. Paul E. Van Dine
273. Donna Heck
274. Marilyn Beecher
275. Joe Moxley
276. Jill Berquist
277. Jim Thomas
278. Sanford Mayo
279. Branson Thurston
280. Margaret Johnson Ghiz

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