Statement in Response to General Conference 2019 from the Undersigned People of the California-Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
The statement highlights the lament for “continued discrimination and exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people from the full life of our church” and commits “to working for a changed church that fully reflects God’s love and longing for all people.” The full statement can be found below with the option to add your name to the undersigned.+
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In honor of the ministry we share and in lament over the continued discrimination against and exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people from the full life of our church, we, the undersigned clergy and laity of the California-Pacific Annual Conference, commit ourselves to working for a changed church that fully reflects God’s love and longing for all people.

To fully do so means we must also acknowledge the colonial nature of the Methodist theology which was made evident at General Conference 2019, one reflective of Eurocentric white supremacist "theological" beliefs that justified Indigenous genocide, African enslavement and continues to haunt us as evidenced by our inability to effectively address racism, sexism, ableism, and heterosexism in our churches. A changed church will require us to identify, dismantle and decolonize our practice of a Methodist-inspired Christianity.

Recognizing we have broken Wesley’s first General Rule to “do no harm,” and also recognizing that God’s extravagant grace enables us to repent and be reconciled (Ephesians 2), just as God reconciled all of creation to God’s self (2 Corinthians 5: 18-19), we are called to register our dissent and to proclaim our hope and our belief.

We refuse to uphold any exclusionary provisions against LGBTQIA+ Christians. We reject the notion that the lives of LGBTQIA+ people are “incompatible” with Christian discipleship. The God we know in Christ Jesus astounded and annoyed people by eating with those who were outcast, rejected, and marginalized in his day (Luke 19:1-10), by offering God’s grace and healing at times considered inopportune (Mark 3:1-6), and by accepting comfort and love even when it interrupted the official proceedings or offended the faithful (Luke 7:36-50). As faithful followers of Christ our Lord, we strive to be as connected to and invested in our communities as Jesus was in his.

Our love and understanding of scripture, our reliance on the breadth and depth of Christian tradition, our prayerful reflection on our lived experience, and our God-given reason, all conspire with the Holy Spirit to breathe new life and understanding into old debates. We affirm the diversity of sexual orientations and gender expressions that God has created and called good (Genesis 1:26-31) and we commit ourselves to live faithfully out of this understanding, especially in this uncertain time.

Call to Ministry
Because we are living into obedience to our baptismal vows to “accept the freedom and power God gives us to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves;”

Because we baptize everyone without regard to their sexual orientation or gender/gender identity/gender expression, and;

Because the call to licensed, commissioned, or ordained ministry flows from the waters of baptism;

We therefore recognize, nurture, welcome, mentor, and celebrate everyone called by God into the fullness of licensed, commissioned, or ordained ministry.

We urge our Board of Ordained Ministry, District Committees on Ministry, and local congregations to recommend qualified candidates for ministry, without respect to their gender/gender identity/gender expression or sexual orientation, and to refrain from using criteria that exclude persons solely on this basis. When called to serve on these committees ourselves, we will support candidates and make our recommendations in this manner.

Marriage
Because scripture teaches us that we are all created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28a), bestowed with the good and holy gift of sexuality (Song of Songs 4), and created to live in covenantal relationship with God and one another (John 13:34-35), and;

Because, as with the call to ministry, marriage vows flow from the waters of baptism and because marriage is a means of grace;

We are also called to recognize, affirm, and celebrate the covenant of marriage between any two persons who meet the commitments and standards for marriage, regardless of their gender/gender identity/gender expression or sexual orientation. We will not deny the covenant of marriage to committed, same-sex couples, nor exclude their celebrations from our sanctuaries. We commit to upholding the same standards for all weddings.


Clergy Ethics
Because we expect clergy to dedicate themselves to “the highest ideals of Christian life” (The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016, par. 304), it is not acceptable to insist on mandatory sentences with respect to a narrow range of sexual conduct, while affording our bishops discretion with respect to most other aspects of clergy ethics and clergy sexual conduct, and;

Because to do so strips the bishops of authority and discernment and limits the possible outcomes which, in turn, precludes a just resolution;

Because LGBTQIA+ siblings have always been involved at all levels of church leadership and refuse to serve in hiding any longer,

We refuse to convict our colleagues for extending the grace of marriage to committed couples or for any charges related to LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the full life of the church.

Retired Clergy
Additionally, because the call to ordained ministry is a call on the whole of our lives, extending beyond our years under appointment, and;

Because those of us who are retired clergy are no less faithful than our actively serving colleagues to the example of Christ, the persuasion of the Holy Spirit, and the call to serve God and God’s people;

In support of and alongside our active colleagues, we will not accept interim appointments or otherwise fill in for pastors who are removed from their appointments for any charges related to LGBTQIA+ inclusion.

Laity
Because, as baptized Christians, we are all ministers, this call extends to laity as well. We will work with our churches toward full inclusion in all facets of our life together. We will support clergy in this commitment and partner with them to extend the grace of marriage to all people. We will support all qualified persons who express a call to ministry and welcome LGBTQIA+ ministers who are appointed to our faith communities.

When called to serve on Staff-Parish Relations Committees, District Committees on Ministry, or the Board of Ordained Ministry, we will support candidates for ministry and clergy appointed to our congregations, without respect to their sexual orientation or gender/gender identity/gender expression.

Faithfully Forward
We hear God calling all disciples to greater faithfulness and hope in the midst of this time of pain and lament. At Christ’s invitation, we continue gathering around the wide-open Communion table as one family, seeking to grow closer and more faithful to Christ our Lord and to live in love and peace with all of our neighbors (Matthew 22:34-30; Luke 10:25-37). So fed, we commit ourselves here to the next steps in our journey.

Signed by:
(*denotes laity, the form is below signatures)

Rev. Sandy Olewine
Rev. Myron Wingfield
Rev. Dan Lewis
Rev. Denyse Barnes
Rev. Cynthia Huskey
Rev. Dr. Krista Givens
*Mark Stephenson
*Rachel Gipson
Rev. Dr. Amy Aitken
Rev. Karen Ristine
Rev. Dr. Fran Materra
*Norma Kerhberg
Deaconess Sharon McCart
Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen
Rev. Julie Elkins
Rev. Sandie Richards
Rev. Rick Uhls
Rev. Sheena Trotter-Dennis
Rev. Wayne Walters
Rev. Jonathan Chute
Rev. Brian Kent
*Dena Abramson Babb
*Marynelle Evans
*Leitha Schaal
*JoAnn Fukumoto
*Karen Burton
Rev. Catie Coots
Rev. Kathy Cooper Ledesma
*Colleen McCandless
*Eric Dyson
*Carol Coy
Rev. Dr. Cedrick Bridgeforth
*Kristin Fertschneider
Rev. John Woodall
Rev. Virginia Wheeler
Rev. Erika Gara
*Mary Ross
Rev. Dr. Sharon Rhodes-Wickett
Rev. Nestor Gerente
Rev. Dr. Leigh Ann Shaw
*Cynthia Tuell
*Annie Gomm
Rev. Holly Reinhart-Marean
*Jan Hanson
Rev. Yvonne Boyd
*Lacey LaCour
Rev. John Shaver
Rev. Patricia Farris
Rev. Greg Batson
*Paul Audley
Rev. Steve Horswell-Johnston
*Kathy McCandless
*Susan Hancock
Rev. Molly Vetter
*Joel Gara
*Craig Black
*Dr. Lucinda Rasmussen
Rev. Thomas Ziegert
Rev. Mandy McDow
Rev. Cathie Capp
Rev. Bob Rhodes
Rev. Andy Mattick
Rev. Dr. Phyllis Tyler
*Jan Ault
*Anne Ault
*Dr. Jane Lambert
*Daniel Kosakowski
*Angie McCard
Rev. Blair Trygstad Stowe
Rev. Diane Rehfield
*Leslie Black
*Emma Black
Rev. Lily Villamin
Rev. Dr. Mark Richardson
Rev. Martha Wingfield
Rev. Gregory LaDue
*Melissa Thach
*Tricia Guerrero
*Darla Dyson
*Melissa Thach
Rev. Mark Trotter
Rev. John Griffin-Atil
Rev. Chris Spearman
Rev. Anne Broyles
Rev. Stacy Dickson
Rev. Dr. Charlene Zuill
Rev. Dr. Mark Ulrickson
*Marnos Lelesi
*Pastor Christopher Riles
Rev. Paige Eaves
*Jose Griffin-Atil
*Tania Batson
Pastor Lyda Endicott
Rev. Debbie Gara
Rev. Diane Davis
*Priscilla Baca
Rev. Stephanie Rice
Rev. Richard Bentley
Rev. James E. Brooking
*Jason Takagi
*Brogan Hunt
*Maryann Reuter
Rev. Brent Criswell
Rev. Gary Keene
*Herschell Evans
*Luke VanKeersbilck
Rev. Allison Mark
*Karen Gundelfinger
*Frederick S. Cook III
Rev. Camille Mattick
*Rod Sprott
Rev. Brent Ross
*Scott Caprio
*Wanda Gae Stefansson
*Anneke Doty
Rev. John Farley
*Alan Hay
*Pamela Hay
*Anna Binney
*Dr. Laura (Katie) Schubert
*Darlene Rodriquez
*Kimberly Emerson
*Kimberly Ports
Rev. Martha Morales
*Alex Morales
*Phillip Valdes
*Betty Kotaba
Rev. David Farley
*Susan Kline
*Anne Hawthorne
Rev. Cynthia Williams
Rev. Dr. Ed Hansen
*Cheryl Allen
*Dallis Richardson
*Dana Black
Rev. Bob Isip
Rev. Johan Dodge
*Joanne Sato
Rev. Rachel Tabutol
Rev. Melinda Teter-Dodge
*Jennifer Gaylord
*Christopher Gaylord
*Jennifer Weyenberg
Rev. Chelsea Simon
Rev. Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore
*Randa Krakow
*Ruth Kistler
Rev. Alan Mark
Rev. Ki Choi
Deaconess Jeanne Roe Smith
Rev. Angela Galanis Price
*Ellen Jee
*Lisa Kadowaki
*Adam Marshall-Lopez
*Dan Gara
*Cherylanne Yamamoto
Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter
*Jeri Okamot-Tanaka
Rev. Jennifer Gutierrez
*Karen Ginoza
*Nicole Montgomery
*Jennifer Scott
*Barb Kynoch
Rev. Dr. J.T. Greenleaf
*Darlene Azzam
*Gilbert Vinluan
*Joyce Stenberg
*Jeff McCutcheon
Rev. Jim Standiford
Rev. Linda Robison
*Kevin Lussier
Rev. Lydia Sohn
*Mary Jane Lambert
*Hank Lambert
Rev. Steve Poteete-Marshall
*Jennifer Demaree
*Zenebech McCutcheon
*Derek Murakami
*Ann DiPlacito
*Nancy Elrod
*Caitlyn Anderson
*Sherry Hoffman Erlandson
Rev. James Seaton
*Suanne Honey
Rev. Mary Scifres
Pastor Bridie Roberts
*Dr. Frederick Honey
Rev. Rona Mangayayam
*Carmel Edwards
*Dennis DiPlacito
*Michiko Lohom
*Kenneth Ellis
*HT Hundley
*Rene Pyle
*Jennifer Cole
*Mary Fitzurka
*Kelly Newhouse
Rev. Dr. Lincoln E. Galloway
*Kathleen Magill
*Benjamin Tyler
*Bob Dalton
*Todd Erlandson
*Janice Preslo
*CJ Miller
*Catherine Drew
Rev. Carl Crider
Rev. Lee Carlile
*Gwen Cerezo
*Gail Kendall
*Donna Iwatsuru-Iki
*Amoreena Jaffe
*Steve Jaffe
Rev. Jane Voigts
Rev. Dr. Ben Vinluan
*Joan Tyler
Rev. Faith Conklin
*Beth Brainerd Hallock
Rev. Frank Hallock
*Kerry Cooper
*Leslie Bunker
*Roger Butcher
*Maxine Butcher
*Twania Vinland
*Patricia McRae
*Kathleen Klein
*Gerda Vinluan
*Alex Bridges
Rev. Jan Wiley
Rev. Richard Bolin
*Patti Strout
*Patricia Downie
Rev. Darin Arnston
Rev. Karin Ellis
*Dale McCart
*Mariko Miho
*Gaye Fisher
*Sabrina Simmons
Rev. Robert Miyaki-Stoner
*Janet Totten
Rhonda K. Lawerence
Rev. Mary Kay Will
*Martha Winans
Rev. Drew Davis
*Douglas Flacker
*Gail Murakami
Rev. Thomas H. Griffith
Rev. Kristie Grimaud
Rev. Frank Wulf
*Janet Oderkirk
*Sherry Burch
Rev. Dr. Ron Griffen
Rev. Matt Seargeant
Rev. Sue Farley
*Janet McGarvey
*Dr. Jim Meagher
*Debra Harkness
*Carol Olewine
*Jennifer McDermott
Rev. Dr. Paula Ferris
*Susan Faber
*Diane Triantis
*Tad Dougherty
Rev. Cindy Arntston
*Christine Pearce
*Alan Mark McGregor
*Mary May
*Jessica Johnston
*Edmond Hambarsumian
Rev. Diane Mettam
Rev. Lucy Barton
*Gary Lamb
*Thomas Batson
*Kathy Jackson
*Terri Zarow
*Katie Allen
*Ralph Barlow
*Mark O'Dell
*Carolyne Givens
*Beckie Henselmeier
*Sara Demeure
*David Schlick
*Diane Clodius
*Kelli Tani
*Patricia Barlow
*Jessica Seargeant
Rev. Nicole Armstrong
*Carole Karuma
*Shirley Williams
*Dr. Annelle Arthur
*Kristen Reksc
*Sharon Phelps
*Harry Karuma
*Miki Miyaki
*Kevin Cavanaugh
*Cynthia Crass
*Tiffanie Roman
Rev. Melissa Spence
*Nancy Turk
*Nicole DeShazer
Rev. Dr. Hannah Ka
Rev. Jung Min Kim
Rev. Drew Davis
*Ric Wilson
*Dr. Matthew Wion
*Scott Dreyer
*Lynn Vinluan
*Kerry Lewis
*Diana Pratt
Rev. Peggy Goochey
Rev. Cheol Kwak
*Jane B. Brummett
*Amy Trotter Crouse
*Nancy Hill
*Katharine Henry
*Lisa Palombi
*Darya Jones
*Leila Menzes
*Sarah Overton
Rev. Lori Doyle
*Anne Davie
*Jean Trotter
Rev. Frank Schaefer
*Julia Noblitt
*Rebecca McFarland
*Jessica Tondo
*Carolyn Ingram
*Florence Martin
*Janet Karnousky
*Tish Une
*Steven Dugan
*Jane Matsumoto
Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr.
*Linda Roach
*Terri Hull
*Sue Walket
Pastor Doug Dickson
*Sara Sperling
*Ashley Roque
*Rebecca Henselmeier
Rev. Amy Wake
*Jeremy Wells
*John Turk
*Lorrie Frost
*Karl Lovgren
*Jeanne Lovgren
*Steve Usher
Rev. Fred Overby
Rev. Randa D'Aoust
Rev. Nancy Goyings
*John Turk
*Jenny Silbiger
*Willa Dalrymple
Rev. Gilbert Stones
Rev. Roy R. Riggs
*Mark Allen
*Dr. Cheryl A. Riggs
*Joseph Russ
*Karen Rhodes
*Brian Babb
*Laura Little
*Richard Best
*Mary Tamura
*Andrea Perez
*Greg Rhoads
*Carol Perry
*Roz Phillips
*Pam Gates
*John Phillips
*VL Holland
*Cliff Solomon
*David Rau
Rev. Dr. Bill Jenkins
*Sheryl Weimer
*Cathy Wilson
*Barbara Pruitt
*Jan Wilson
*Teresa Whitesel Navarro
*Jane Holland
*Byron Hayes
*Kimberly Brush
*Disa Lindgren
*Ernie Lawrence
Rev. Steve Islander
*Debra Burris
Rev. Charles Neal
*Lois Vaught
*Kitty Robertson
*Natalie Nimmer
*Jessica Inouye
*Irene Yokayama
*Sachiko Taketa
*Helen Iwatani
*Edward Vegara
*Wally Wake
*Debbie Kwak
*Annette Okimoto
*Marilyn Billingsley
*Kimiko Sugamura
*Lorraine Kadooka
*Edna Jackson
*Lynn Miyahara
*Claudia Webster
*Davidson Lee
*Carole Ayakawa
*Chuck Kalleen
*Kalleen Overman
*Carole Suzui
*Andrew Nguyen
*David McClenon
*Patricia Luse
*Arnold Bramlett
*Diane Matsuura
Rev. Eric Scott
*Karen Christiansen
*Benjamin Nucum
*Patti James
Rev. Paula Hulet
*Carol Sasaki
*Ruth Ingram
Rev. Adiel DePano
*Margaret Irwin
Pastor Victor Cyrus-Franklin
*David Mason
*Margaret Yun
Rev. Valerie Weise
*Lynne Bowersox
Pastor Sylina Kidd
*Cheryl Sloan
*Richard Sloan
*Akira Sasaki
Rev. Dick George
Rev. Samuel L. Domingo
Rev. Dr. Judy Chung
*Marilynne Wilander
Rev. Mark Feldmeir
*Sandee Furuta
*Jan Berentsen
*David Berentsen
*Brooke Rowan
Dr. Walter Dilg
*Marie Fairman
*Sloan Mann
Rev. Dr. Thomas Trotter
*Doti Andoli
*Gania Trotter
*Erin Lopez
*Mary Lopez
*Betsy deBos
*Lesa Kunelis
Rev. Karen Dalton
*Kathryn Loring
*Judi Graham
*Ann McBirnie
*Brian Belting
*Ann Wilson
*Kara Mark
Rev. Dr. Frances Wiebenga
*Skylar Yamamoto
*Maxine Wherler
Rev. Dr. James Dwyer
*Carolyn Steuer
Rev. Debbie Sperry
Rev. Rachel deBos-Haigler
*Joyce Fairman
Rev. Genevieve Clark
Rev. Morris Floyd
*R.M. (Pete) Dennis
*Phyllis Lansley
*Elizabeth Williams
Rev. Lea Booth
*Becky Bond
*Norita Nelson
Rev. Samuel Cox
Rev. Barbara G. Ripple
*Jan Yuen
*Rae Watanabe
*Elsie Harai
*Linda Matsushita
Rev. Dr. Richard Matsushita
*Deanna Espinas
*Francis Fukumoto
*Tevenita Layugan
*Dorita Dunlap
*Gaynl Trotter
*Michael Loring
*Christine Bootjer
*Sarah Bower
*Dorothy Kuwamoto
Rev. John Fanestil
*Mona Bomgaars
Rev. Mike Eggleston

8 Anonymous Supporters

+ This statement was developed with thanks to our friends and colleagues of the Virginia Annual Conference who authored “Statement in Response to General Conference 2019 from the Undersigned People of the Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church,” found here https://anewthingva.com/. Their inspiration and content are greatly appreciated.

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