We mourn the harm done by the recent global gathering of our denomination known as the General Conference. We grieve the actions of this General Conference in tightening restrictions on the ordination of LGBTQ clergy and maintaining prohibitions against our clergy performing same-gender weddings. These actions continue the pain and oppression of our LGBTQ siblings and damage both our members and our Christian witness to the world. We seek to be a diverse, global church, but, contrary to that vision, these actions perpetuate discrimination and exclusion.
However, these actions will not change what we believe or how we act. We who represent the diversity of the Texas Annual Conference, including persons who are LGBTQ and allies, say together, “You are beloved children of God, and you are beloved by us.” The actions of this General Conference do not reflect the hopes and dreams of 2/3 of the U.S. delegates who voted in favor of a more inclusive church. More importantly, we believe they do not reflect the hopes and dreams of God.
Too often, our silence as clergy and lay Christians has done harm. We therefore commit to be silent no longer. We will advocate and work for the full inclusion of all people in Christ's church, and we humbly ask for the prayers and forgiveness of all we have failed or forgotten.
We believe that God has not yet finished working in or through The United Methodist Church or the Texas Annual Conference and hope you will join us in this work.