An Open Letter to the Bishop and Appointive Cabinet of the Dakotas Conference
Dear Bishop Ough and Appointive Cabinet,

Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus the Christ. We, as the undersigned clergy and laity of the Dakotas Conference, write to you with gratitude for your leadership in this conference that we love. We are particularly thankful for your leadership, Bishop Ough, during the last three years and in the days since the 2019 General Conference. We believe that you have led us well - and it is because of your leadership that we are able to write to you with transparency.

Echoing your hurt and lamentation in response to the results of General Conference, Bishop, we, too, lament that as a collective United Methodist body we have often been unfaithful to our calling to do no harm. You have called us to be a conference that heals a broken world as Jesus speaks about in the Great Proclamation in Luke 4. Yet, there are times in which we have intentionally and unintentionally caused harm to others out of self-preservation, out of fear, and out of ignorance. We lament the harm the denomination has continuously inflicted upon LGBTQ+ clergy and laity - both within and outside of the Dakotas. We grieve deeply at the passing of the Traditional Plan and believe that this action perpetuates injustice that does not reflect our Wesleyan understanding of grace, and it furthers harm of the LGBTQ+ community.

For any and all ways in which we have personally and collectively been complicit in this harm, we confess and earnestly repent.

We believe it to be our faithful response, as members of the Dakotas Conference, to live into our baptismal vows by resisting evil, injustice, and oppression in all of the forms in which they present themselves and to carry out the scriptural imperatives to grow in love of God and neighbor, reach new people, and heal a broken world.

Therefore, in recommitting ourselves to our baptismal vows and our scriptural imperatives:

1. We affirm the sacred worth of all of God's children - particularly LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color, women, and those who are differently abled.

2. We will respond to convictions from the Holy Spirit as we offer full-inclusion and affirmation of LGBTQ+ people at all levels within the life of the church. All of God's children have important and beautiful gifts to share and we will provide the space for all people to live out and live into their callings.

3. We will actively choose love over harm. We invite other clergy and laity to do likewise.

4. We recognize that this is not a solitary moment of harm in the history of our denomination. Liberation for any of us is dependent upon liberation for us all.

In the midst of this great harm, as resurrection people, we believe that God is not done with us or the people of the Dakotas Conference. The Holy Spirit is working to bring forth the new life that God so desperately seeks for us all. We believe this new life and new movement to be one of full inclusion for all of our siblings - and we commit ourselves to following the leanings of the Spirit toward a church that more clearly reflects the love and grace of Christ.

Our prayer for you is that you will lead us boldly in the way of Christ's love by affirming all qualified candidates for ministry without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity and by doing all in your power to end continued harm of LGBTQ+ clergy, laity, and their allies within our conference and denomination. And, as the undersigned laity specifically, we ask that you communicate openly and directly with us about the next steps in this endeavor.

1. Rev. Kevin Kloster
2. Rev. DeAnn Eidem
3. Rev. Brett Roes
4. Dr. Julia Jones
5. Rev. Nicole Anderson
6. Rev. Karl Kroger
7. Bill Fletcher
8. Pastor Teresa Whetsel
9. Deborah Kjerstad
10. Pam Roes
11. Joe Ratigan
12. Alys Lafler-Ratigan
13. Bill G. Barber
14. Donna Scheller
15. Rev. Clay Lundberg
16. Sebastian Reynolds Roes
17. Debra Shelton
18. Hayden Richard Bentz
19. Don Springhetti
20. Richard K Wahlstrom
21. Eileen Bertsch
22. Rev. Mark Johnsen
23. Tracy Kloster
24. Jerry D. Simmons
25. Kylie M. Riggins
26. Quentin Riggins
27. Rev. Raymond L. Baker
28. Sarah Baker, FNP
29. Michael Baker
30. Tasha Unkenholz
31. Kathy Torgerson
32. Mike Torgerson
33. Katie Larson
34. Rev. Jen Anderson
35. Lynne Fletcher
36. Barbara Lindbloom
37. Teresa (Terry) Pfahler
38. Gini Grannes
39. Dr. Tad Perry
40. Carolyn Perry
41. Dr. Vicky Wilkey
42. Scott Jones
43. Carol Dormann
44. Rev. John E. McKnight, Jr.
45. Mary Hensley
46. Eric Eidem
47. Catherine Wahlstrom
48. Joan Bentz
49. Rev. Holly Sortland
50. Eric Sortland
51. Connie Howard
52. Debe Blackett
53. Sharon Wilson
54. Mary Richards
55. Mike Blackett
56. John Howard
57. Mary K. Frooman
58. Thomas J. Huber MD
59. Stacey Timm
60. Jo Anne Hipple
61. Rev. Howard Baird
62. Ellen Lee
63. Elizabeth Knowles
64. Vicki Likness
65. Jessie Jo Pagel
66. Teresa Behl
67. Rev. Travis Krogman
68. Rachel Byrum
69. Richard P. Augusztin
70. Mark Dutt
71. Calla Eidem
72. Ansley Eddy
73. Nicole Stasch
74. Ona Arnold
75. Judy Lehner
76. Jon Lehner
77. David Stucke
78. Erin Rempfer
79. Rev. Jeri R. Burns
80. DiAnn Kleinsasser
81. Rev. Peary Wilson
82. Lorna Jost
83. Christopher Lupo
84. Jerre Willis
85. Rev. Jordan Louks
86. Eileen Wilson
87. Sharon Caine
88. Christopher A. Hanson
89. Rev. Lou Whitmer
90. Lori Burmeister
91. Don Caine
92. Corwin M. Jones
93. Rev. Joel R. Higgins
94. Rev. Scott McKirdy
95. Meghan Knowles
96. The Rev. Andy Bartel
97. Kimberly Hipple
98. Seth Hipple
99. Rev. Rick Pittenger
100. Maggie Engler
101. Christy Heacock
102. Emily Warns
103. Rev. Richard Fisher
104. Rev. Jen Tyler
105. Seanna Regynski
106. Donna M. Fisher
107. Rev. Peggy Hanson
108. Rev. Jeff Lathrop
109. Rev. Matt Richards
110. Rev. Gail Arnold
111. Cara Riker
112. Rev. Rob Salmonson
113. Pastor Mike Flowers
114. Libby Flowers
115. Kelsey Morgan
116. Kristi Barber
117. Rev. Melissa Gall
118. Rev. Valerie Hummel LaBounty
119. Erin Woods
120. Rick Jost
121. Rev. Jenny Hallenbeck Orr
122. Pastor Corey Enfield
123. Rev. Amy Atkins
124. Pastor Matthew Morrison
125. Pastor Taylor Johnson
126. Nancy Hallenbeck
127. Mark Hallenbeck
128. Diane L. Kisch
129. Rev. Sara McManus
130. Rev. Kip Roozen
131. Rev. Quaya Ackerman
132. Rev. Chang H. Yi
133. Cynthia McGuire Thiel
134. Rev. Katie Ricke
135. Tass Thacker
136. Bruce Junek
137. Jim Beddow
138. Jean Beddow
139. Rev. Dayne Zachrison
140. Dr. Elizabeth Ewing Lee
141. Greg Ewing Lee
142. JoJean Callison
143. Beverly Searls
144. Douglas Searls
145. Dixie Miller
146. Rev. Dr. Timothy Eberhart
147. Rev. Becky Eberhart
148. Helen L. Vogt
149. Rev. Kori Lehrkamp
150. Rev. Dr. Donald A Watt
151. Katie Clark
152. Clara Arnold
153. Rev. Charlie Moore
154. Alyssa Warns
155. Holly Hedge
156. Pastor Randy Hedge
157. Rev. Howard Grinager
158. Nancy Lehner
159. Rev. Eric Grinager
160. Jane Walser
161. Robert Walser
162. Sara Van Maanen
163. Kristine Askerooth
164. Nancy Kirk
165. Jenny Schmidt
166. Kristina Simmons
167. Cynthia Nelson
168. Jeff Nelson
169. Susan Cook
170. Kelly Drake
171. Maddie Lehrkamp
172. Tye Johnson
173. Ruth Grinager
174. Kara Togel
175. Winola Neal
176. Marilyn Holzwarth
177. Jacqueline Koupal
178. David Holzwarth
179. Jennifer Erickson
180. Rev. Susan O'Connell
181. Pastor Bob Ruedebusch
182. Denis Dormann
183. Judy Hines
184. Tyler Gall
185. Julie Jahrig
186. Rebecca Pittenger
187. Rev. Marilyn Spurrell
188. Heather Hirsch
189. Pastor Jason Christensen
190. Tiffany A. Hofer
191. Danae Becker
192. Janet Christensen
193. Dylan Dethlefsen
194. Rev. Kenrad Vernen Pederson
195. Pastor Sharla McCaskell
196. Rev. Martin Avery
197. Rebecca Ann Koch Stoddard
198. Tanner Carlson
199. Rev. Douglas E. Diehl
200. Daniel C. Johnson, MD
201. Willow Hall
202. Matt Britt
203. Rev. Autumn Krueger
204. Rev. Brian Hazard
205. Pastor Paul Lint
206. Mary Lee Nielson
207. Margaret A. McCay-Smidt
208. May Pomeroy
209. Liz Schmautz
210. Lana Anderson
211. LaDonna Callies
212. Marilyn Gibbs
213. John Gibbs
214. Colleen McKirdy
215. Carla Hummel
216. Kathryn Converse
217. Jackie Meisenheimer
218. Kelly Erickson
219. Alexander Johnson
220. Mary Springhetti
221. Natalie Hilton
222. Nancy Rosenbrahn
223. Paula Herman
224. Linse Lundberg
225. Rob Young
226. Nancy Kiesow
227. Jackie Owen
228. Barb Owen
229. Becky Mohr
230. Jon Owen
231. Jessica Kremer
232. Ryan Kremer
233. Dawn E. Diehl
234. Pastor Iva Laudermith
235. Lori A. Hiedeman
236. Matthew Kiesow
237. Rev. Penny Eberhart
238. Virg Whetsel
239. James Dustin
240. Janson Michael Steffan
241. Rev. Emil Eberhart
242. Marcia Schneider
243. Pinky Horner
244. Steve Horner
245. Rev. Theta Miller
246. Haley Walker
247. Pastor Brandon Dunham
248. Jean Larson
249. Steve Likness
250. Rev. Thomas E. Lavery
251. Lary Heida
252. Cara Braun
253. Roger H. Hansen
254. Rev. Eric Van Meter
255. Beata Ferris
256. Rev. Lori Broschat
257. Morgan Else
258. Nichole Kremer
259. Clay Stoddard
260. Irma J. DeSmet
261. Eileen Dixon Fleishacker
262. Gloria Borgman
263. Nancy Lundon
264. Rev. Dar Berkenpas
265. Carolyn McBride
266. Holly Lathrop
267. Stacey Donovan
268. Boyd Bristow
269. Nathan Bader
270. Rev. Sara M. Nelson
271. Mallory Meier
272. Amy Martineck
273. Stacy Walters
274. Mat Nelson
275. Sue Togel
276. Michael Lehrkamp
277. Julie Adams
278. Rev. Ryan Mutzenberger
279. Anna Nelson Suckow
280. Ashley Alsup
281. Ginger Phillips
282. Sean Binder
283. Chelsea Meyer
284. Dr. Bruce Forbes
285. Nolan Ortbahn
286. Katie Parker
287. Joyce A. Darling
288. Connie Lake
289. Phyllis Stevens
290. F. Dan Baker
291. Rev. Leo Siriano
292. Lisa Luft
293. Del Rae Williams
294. Jocelyn Jefferson-Brown
295. Natalie Buck
296. Alexia Gillen
297. Andrea Hult
298. Tiffany Ortman
299. Brenda Tebben
300. Pastor Debra Ball-Kilbourne
301. Amanda Jo Martin
302. Sue Goehring
303. Rev. Dr. Gary Ball-Kilbourne
304. Casey Buchmann
305. Janene Trammell-Polk
306. Kelly W Stone
307. Wendy Stubbs
308. Jennifer Larsen
309. James Hammond
310. Pam Knuth
311. Rev. Kris Mutzenberger
312. Sylvia Weidenaar
313. Joanne K. Murphy
314. Vicki Moeckly-Renner
315. Grady Lehrkamp
316. Amy E. Morrison
317. Brianna Heida
318. Christy Heflin
319. Matthew Bader
320. Sarah Green
321. Thomas J. Chap
322. Jennifer Peterson
323. Linda Bates
324. Eric T Chap
325. Lowell C. Holmgren
326. Roberta Kloster
327. Martin Kloster
328. Barbara E. Goodman, Ph.D.
329. Deborah Hanson
330. Cheryl B. McKnight
331. Cindy Yeager
332. Reed Richards
333. Kristen Fischer
334. Rebecca R. Holton
335. Sandee Cole
336. Sandy Tjaden
337. Dana Enfield
338. Lois J. Neff
339. Kory Hagler
340. Tim Davenport
341. Patty Wood
342. Beate Hartwig-Stucke
343. Linda Suko
344. Larry D. Wood
345. Brenda Swanson
346. Karen Nicholson
347. Jerry Suko
348. Ron Smith
349. Vicky Vetter
350. Barbara L. Egan
351. Shelley Nielson
352. Tiana Bohn
353. Angelica Gabriel
354. Elaine Scott
355. Darlis LaBahn
356. Bruce Kleinsasser
357. Wendy Fisher
358. Susan Angermeier
359. Samantha Duttenhefner
360. Kay Nelson
361. Ally Specht
362. Davis Anderson
363. Jess Huber
364. Dennis Unkenholz
365. Danielle Karber
367. Pastor Donna Kuper
368. Jack Allen Stoddard
369. Janelle Podzimek
370. Rev. Mark Holland
371. Bill Willis
372. Jan Holland
373. Brian Hanson
374. Mary Lee Steele
375. Nathan Bowles
376. Karen Koob
377. Rev. Kay Karen Cushing
378. Annette Schilling Willis
379. Don Walz
380. DeVera E. Bowles
381. Kenneth Bowles
382. Anne Osborne
383. Mara Nelson
384. Cindy McNeill
385. Kathy Aller
386. Gloria J. Knoll
387. Patti Martinson
388. Julie Ashworth
389. Tom Ashworth
390. Lynne Jones
391. Al Goehring
392. Kristen Holland
393. Roger Nelson
394. Rogene Brown
395. Deb Brooks
396. Heidi Galer
397. Patrice Meier
398. Roswell Henke
399. Dyan Wood
400. Nancy Lilleberg
401. Marilyn Brown
402. Kathy Wibbels
403. Ruth Webb
404. Jon Wibbels
405. Dean Webb
406. Rev. Dr. David Heetland
407. Lisa Schultz
408. Cindy Kocabinski
409. Betty L Jones
410. Jonathan Miller
411. Susan Beckler
412. Dianne Lapka
413. Jessica E. Janis
414. Jim Cochrane
415. Miranda Andrew
416. John R. Hinrichs
417. Mike Kocabinski
418. Molly Miller
419. Dr. Ann Bailey
420. Colin Bailey
421. Linda Bailey
422. Jan Quenzer
423. Jane Morgan
424. Jake C. Larsen
425. Dr. Susan Jennys
426. Jeff Denison
427. Rita Jacobs
428. Cheryl Voorhis
429. Kristen Pierce
430. Katherine Denison
431. Mikael Watkins Pietila
432. Jamie DeVaal
433. Jeanne Jensen
434. Susan D Thompson
435. Ben Eidem
436. Dale Kramer
437. Diane Stang
438. Dianna Hatfield Clemenson
439. Jim Morgan
440. Lori Miller
441. Lynne Alexnder
442. Carol Fowler
443. Ted Fowler
444. Madison Unser
445. Chariton Elsen
446. Paula Ruedebusch
447. Penny Galinat
448. Lori Jacobson
449. Kathy Cheney-Egan
450. Amber Huff
451. Alice L. LaFontaine
452. Heather H Elsen
453. Kristie Scherbenske
454. Cayson K Elsen
455. David A Fischer
456. Nancy Miller
457. Nordell Ekle
458. Brenda Weishaar
459. Rev. Joel Allen
460. Rev. Boyd Blumer
461. Amy Hook
462. Gene Meyer
463. Kristina Garrett
464. Beth Swanson
465. Nora C. Christensen
466. Harold Christensen
467. Jill Meeker
468. Jyll Luettel
469. Oliver Isaac
470. Carrie Gilkerson
471. Linda Hausvik
472. Rob Gilkerson
473. David Mah
474. Carol Flynn
475. Natalie Slack
476. Pastor Connie Eichinger
477. Carol Jonas
478. Edee Rae
479. Cameon Jacobson Wefso
480. Bruce Feistner
481. Nancy Green
482. Donna Robinson
483. Karen Vasey
484. Rev Michelle Brennan
485. Rev. Gary.W.Rae
486. Jenna Pritts
487. Leonda Anglin
488. Katie Nielson
489. Rev. Seth LaBounty
490. Jane Kolbe
491. Cassidy Klostriech
492. Rev. Rodney Gist
493. Rev Mary Ann Sheldon
494. Douglas Erickson
495. Robert Kolbe
496. Linda Henglefelt
497. Peggy Prickett
498. Mary Hayenga
499. Calvin Hayenga
500. Elaine Hegland
501. Laurie Kidd
502. Brenda Lint
503. Christine Baumann
504. Darrell Miller
505. James Wefso
506. Katie Parker-Riccio
507. Rev. Leisa Richards
508. Jean Anderson
509. Mark Bratlie
510. Rita Lepp
511. Rev. Dr. William L. Bates
512. Jacqueline Burcham
513. Carrie Swanson
514. Kathy Heetland
515. Cheryl Wolff
516. Bruce Stemme
517. Rita Ellsworth
518. Hanna Antrim
519. Myrna J. Hill
520. Mary Jane Richardson
521. Matthew Glaser
522. Bonnie Ranum
523. Gail Pederson
524. Bev Enger
525. Kim Mertz
526. Lonny Mertz
527. Jordan Kitzmiller
528. Cady Voigt
529. Michelle Triplett
530. Clark Moeckly
531. Sue Woodward
532. Heather Barthelman
533. Charlene Hoy
534. Scott G. Hoy
535. Janice Moncur
536. Jenna Hoose
537. Mad Larsen
538. Allison Jensen
539. Diane Hepburn
540. Dr. Susan Ramig Wischmeier
541. Dr. Curt Wischmeier
542. Kathleen Knecht
543. Jeri Costlow
544. Bonnie Brooking
545. Jennifer Anderson
546. Rev. Marty Toepke-Floyd
547. Rev Sharee Johnson
548. Naomi G. Bartle
549. Rachelle Goldin
550. Rev. John T. Jarman
551. Carol E. Windeld
552. Rev. Sheila Richards
553. Cheryl Wolff
554. Joyce Heid
555. Rev. Pete Moe
556. Barbara Ramsey
557. Elizabeth Cissel
558. lloyd hanna
559. Rev. Dr. Duane A. Ewers
560. Joanne Singrey-Johnson
561. Kristin D. Marsh
562. Kenneth Bowles
563. Lexi Hagler
564. Kathleen Shoemaker
565. Clifford Shoemaker
566. Jody Foster

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