We share the sense of desperation you expressed in your pastoral letter following the decisions out of the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. The conference and its outcomes did great harm. We grieve the spiritual violence inflicted upon LGBTQIA+ clergy, church members, family, and friends. We will continue to offer pastoral care to the wounded and traumatized, to those who wish to stay and resist and those who feel they have no choice but to leave. Though the church is mired in the law of exclusion and division, we will continue to witness to the grace of Christ.
We recognize that the United Methodist Church has a long history of harm and continues to struggle with the sins and failures of our culture. We lament that our church is plagued by institutional racism, sexism, and able-ism. While all of these “isms” are in opposition to the gospel, the church continues to tolerate and even affirms discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. We can no longer abide by the restrictions the Book of Discipline has placed on inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in the full life of the church. To do so would be a violation of our baptismal vow to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
We affirm your sense that this is “an opportunity for the Baltimore-Washington Conference to rise above exclusionary practices to say unequivocally that we will recognize the dignity and sacred worth of all.” We stand with you in this and urge you to lead us forward as a church that embodies this vision.
Our faith requires us to not be complicit in the harm that the church continues to inflict upon children of God.
Therefore, we reject the General Conference’s stance that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm the rich diversity of sexual orientations and gender identity as part of God’s good creation.
We believe that clergy must be able to minister to all people equally, celebrating covenant commitments and performing marriages per our conscience.
We call upon our District Committees on Ordained Ministry and the Baltimore-Washington Conference Board of Ordained Ministry to recommend gifted, called, and qualified candidates for ministry, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
We affirm your authority as Bishop to consecrate, commission, and ordain all qualified and elected candidates for ministry and we encourage you to do so without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Based on our shared desire to avoid further harm, we urge you, Bishop, to not be complicit in charges filed against LGBTQIA+ clergy and/or clergy who have officiated same-sex weddings. We ask that you use your episcopal discretion, including but not limited to the just resolution process, to avoid trials and the bringing of charges based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Furthermore, we, the undersigned clergy, commit to standing by our colleagues who may be brought up on charges related to LGBTQIA+ inclusion.
We stand together to chart a path forward toward healing for our church. We sense the Holy Spirit leading us through this season of Lent to trust in the power and promise of the resurrection to make all things new. We seek to prayerfully follow the Spirit’s leading to name the harm done to LGBTQIA+ persons and share the power of the gospel with all.
Yours Together in Christ,
Rev. Patricia Abell Rev. Dr. Ann P. AdamsRev. Wm. D. Chip AldridgeRev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson Rev. Dr. Gayle Annis-ForderRev. A. David ArgoRev. Dr. Carol Armstrong-MooreRev. Giovanni ArroyoRev. Dr. Lisa BandelRev. Dr. Susan R BeehlerRev. Emily BerkowitzDr. Bruce C. BirchRev. Judith L. BirchRev. Megan BlanchardRev. Dr. Laura BlauveltRev. Scott H. BosticRev. Sharon BourgeoisRev. Richard P. Bowman, Esq. Rev. Daniel BreidenbaughRev. Christopher BroadwellRev. Byron E. BroughtRev. Byron P. BroughtRev. Alexis F. BrownRev. Gregory BrownRev. Dr. Katherine E BrownRev. Ken E. BrownRev. Thomas L. BrunkowRev. Richard Lee BuckinghamRev. Nicholas BufanoRev. Dr. Donald L. BurgardRev. Cynthia Horn BurkertRev. Michael W. BynumRev. John H. CampbellRev. Jenny CannonRev. Kim CappsRev. Roger J. CarlsonRev. Michael Anthony Carrington Jr.Rev. Lon ChesnuttRev. Dr. Kathleen F. CheyneyRev. Mi Ja ChoRev. Margaret E. ClemonsRev. Dr. Peggy ClickRev. Terri S. CofiellRev. David S. Cooney, Ph.D.Rev. Rachel CornwellRev. Linda J. CoveleskieRev. Janet CraswellRev. Dr. Jackson H. DayRev. Peter L. DeGrooteRev. Wayne A. DeHartRev. Ali DeLeoRev. Dr. Edwin C DelongRev. Dr. Jim DittoRev. G. Dee-Ann DixonRev. Amy Ellen Duke-BenfieldRev. Martina E. EfodziRev. Curtis EhrgottRev. Lee FerrellRev Claire FiedlerRev. Angela FlanaganRev. Alice FordRev. Ron FosterRev. Dr. Malcolm FrazierRev. Kate Mackereth Fulton Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-CirelliRev. Laurie Gates-WardRev. Lillian GeibArthur Dan GlecklerRev. Mary Ellen GloriosoRev. Will Ed GreenRev. Andrew Greenwood Rev. Kelly GrimesRev Dr. Susan HalseRev. Emily HartRev. Ken HawesRev. Jessica S. HaydenRev. Joey Heath-MasonRev. Charlotte Hendee Rev. Dr. David A. HighfieldRev. Dellyne Hinton Rev. Chris HolmesRev. William A. HolmesRev. Nicole HoustonRev. Dr. Avis Hoyt-OConnorRev. Kenneth M. HumbertRev. Dr. Stephen W. Humphrey, Jr.Rev. Beth HuttonRev. Dr. Diana L HynsonRev. Elizabeth JacksonRev. Jody Robinson JessupRev. C. Michele JohnsRev. Michael C. JohnsonRev. Paul W. JohnsonRev. Dr. Bruce A. JonesRev. Jeffrey JonesRev. Joye F. JonesRev. Jacqueline Jones-Smith Rev. Dr. Jason O. Jordan-GriffinRev. Jennifer KarsnerThe Rev. Dr. Clarence A. (Tom) KaylorRev. Robert E. Kells Jr.Rev Lucinda KentRev. Kathleen KohlRev. Dr. Mary E. KrausRev Dr. Stephen LarsenRev. Elizabeth LeMasterRev. Diana L. LeyRev. Dr. Kathleen S. LossauRev. Don B. LoweRev. Beth LudlumRev. Bill MaischRev. Robert E. MantheyRev. Dr. Jeannie MarshRev. Dr. Sherrin MarshallRev Mildred Costello MartinRev. Sam MarulloRev. Claire Matheny Rev. Martha MaxhamRev. Drema McAllister-WilsonRev. Vivian C. McCarthyRev Dr Irance Reddix McCrayRev. Bonnie McCubbinRev. Richard McCulloughMary McCurdyRev. Melissa McDadeRev. Amanda McMurtreyRev. James McSavaneyRev. Daniel MejiaRev. Michelle MejiaRev.Galen R . MenneRev. Martha Meredith Rev. Dr. James M. MillerRev. Robert MitzelRev. E. Maynard Moore, PhDRev. H. Edgar MooreRev. L. Katherine MooreRev Dr Raymond T MorelandRev. Dr. Laura Lee C MorganRev. Linda Watkins MotterRev. Enger MutetekeRev. David C. MyersRev. Dr. Marilyn C. NewhouseRev. Dr. Stacey NickersonRev. Laura NorvellRev. Norman ObenshainRev. Bryant M. OskvigRev. Michael Parker IIRev. Tiffany PattersonRev. Kate PaytonRev. Andrew Peck-McClain Rev. Brett PinderRev Taysie Monroe PhillipsRev. Dr. Wm. Louis PielRev. Dr. Randy Pumphrey LPC, BCCRev. Dr. Joe RaineyRev. Sandy RectorRev. Kirkland ReynoldsRev. Dr. Stephen RobisonRev. Mark SchaeferRev. Bonnie ScottRev. Debbie ScottRev. Roberta J ScovilleRev. Kara ScrogginsRev. Wilson A. ShearerRev. Dr. Sue Shorb-SterlingRev. Dr. Mary Jo SimsRev. Troy SimsRev. Dean SnyderRev. Donna Claycomb SokolRev. Kathy Spitzer Rev. Thomas StarnesRev. Victoria StarnesRev. Dr. Anne Ross StewartRev. Dawn StewartRev. Donald S. StewartRev. Dr. Gerald StoneRev Malcolm StranathanRev. David E. StumRev. Shannon SullivanRev. Carissa SurberRev. Katherine (Heflin) TalleyRev. Matthew TateRev. Dr. Theresa S. ThamesRev. Laurie Pierce TingleyRev. Dr. Mary Kay TottyRev. Dr. Douglas D. TzanRev. Stephanie VaderRev. Dr. Eliezer Valentin-Castanon Rev. Dr. Kirk VanGilderRev. Alicia L. VaniskoRev. Rebecca VardimanRev Loretta Whitney VinerRev. Alisa Lasater WailooRev. Ruth A. WardRev. Patricia WatsonRev. Nancy J. WebbRev. Meredith Wilkins-ArnoldRev. Julie WilsonRev. Lisa Wirkus Rev. J. Philip WogamanRev. Chris A. WoodRev. Dr. Kathryn Tarwater WoodrowRev. Dr. Harold (Chip) B. Wright, IIRev. Kevin Kim Wright Rev. Anne YarbroughRev. Linda S. Yarrow Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.Rev. Carol Cosens YocumRev. Dr. Dennis E. YocomRev. Jean Sutliff YoungRev. Judy YoungRev. Dottie Yunger
(Names will be updated periodically)