BWC Clergy Open Letter to Bishop Easterling
We, the undersigned clergy (ordained, commissioned, licensed) of the Baltimore-Washington Conference join our voices with colleagues in other annual conferences in reaching out to their episcopal leadership as we offer you this open letter:

Bishop Easterling,

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. Adams
Rev. Wm. D. Chip Aldridge
Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson
Rev. Dr. Gayle Annis-Forder
Rev. A. David Argo
Rev. Dr. Carol Armstrong-Moore
Rev. Giovanni Arroyo
Rev. Dr. Lisa Bandel
Rev. Dr. Susan R Beehler
Rev. Emily Berkowitz
Dr. Bruce C. Birch
Rev. Judith L. Birch
Rev. Megan Blanchard
Rev. Dr. Laura Blauvelt
Rev. Scott H. Bostic
Rev. Sharon Bourgeois
Rev. Richard P. Bowman, Esq.
Rev. Daniel Breidenbaugh
Rev. Christopher Broadwell
Rev. Byron E. Brought
Rev. Byron P. Brought
Rev. Alexis F. Brown
Rev. Gregory Brown
Rev. Dr. Katherine E Brown
Rev. Ken E. Brown
Rev. Thomas L. Brunkow
Rev. Richard Lee Buckingham
Rev. Nicholas Bufano
Rev. Dr. Donald L. Burgard
Rev. Cynthia Horn Burkert
Rev. Michael W. Bynum
Rev. John H. Campbell
Rev. Jenny Cannon
Rev. Kim Capps
Rev. Roger J. Carlson
Rev. Michael Anthony Carrington Jr.
Rev. Lon Chesnutt
Rev. Dr. Kathleen F. Cheyney
Rev. Mi Ja Cho
Rev. Margaret E. Clemons
Rev. Dr. Peggy Click
Rev. Terri S. Cofiell
Rev. David S. Cooney, Ph.D.
Rev. Rachel Cornwell
Rev. Linda J. Coveleskie
Rev. Janet Craswell
Rev. Dr. Jackson H. Day
Rev. Peter L. DeGroote
Rev. Wayne A. DeHart
Rev. Ali DeLeo
Rev. Dr. Edwin C Delong
Rev. Dr. Jim Ditto
Rev. G. Dee-Ann Dixon
Rev. Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield
Rev. Martina E. Efodzi
Rev. Curtis Ehrgott
Rev. Lee Ferrell
Rev Claire Fiedler
Rev. Angela Flanagan
Rev. Alice Ford
Rev. Ron Foster
Rev. Dr. Malcolm Frazier
Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton
Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli
Rev. Laurie Gates-Ward
Rev. Lillian Geib
Arthur Dan Gleckler
Rev. Mary Ellen Glorioso
Rev. Will Ed Green
Rev. Andrew Greenwood
Rev. Kelly Grimes
Rev Dr. Susan Halse
Rev. Emily Hart
Rev. Ken Hawes
Rev. Jessica S. Hayden
Rev. Joey Heath-Mason
Rev. Charlotte Hendee
Rev. Dr. David A. Highfield
Rev. Dellyne Hinton
Rev. Chris Holmes
Rev. William A. Holmes
Rev. Nicole Houston
Rev. Dr. Avis Hoyt-OConnor
Rev. Kenneth M. Humbert
Rev. Dr. Stephen W. Humphrey, Jr.
Rev. Beth Hutton
Rev. Dr. Diana L Hynson
Rev. Elizabeth Jackson
Rev. Jody Robinson Jessup
Rev. C. Michele Johns
Rev. Michael C. Johnson
Rev. Paul W. Johnson
Rev. Dr. Bruce A. Jones
Rev. Jeffrey Jones
Rev. Joye F. Jones
Rev. Jacqueline Jones-Smith
Rev. Dr. Jason O. Jordan-Griffin
Rev. Jennifer Karsner
The Rev. Dr. Clarence A. (Tom) Kaylor
Rev. Robert E. Kells Jr.
Rev Lucinda Kent
Rev. Kathleen Kohl
Rev. Dr. Mary E. Kraus
Rev Dr. Stephen Larsen
Rev. Elizabeth LeMaster
Rev. Diana L. Ley
Rev. Dr. Kathleen S. Lossau
Rev. Don B. Lowe
Rev. Beth Ludlum
Rev. Bill Maisch
Rev. Robert E. Manthey
Rev. Dr. Jeannie Marsh
Rev. Dr. Sherrin Marshall
Rev Mildred Costello Martin
Rev. Sam Marullo
Rev. Claire Matheny
Rev. Martha Maxham
Rev. Drema McAllister-Wilson
Rev. Vivian C. McCarthy
Rev Dr Irance Reddix McCray
Rev. Bonnie McCubbin
Rev. Richard McCullough
Mary McCurdy
Rev. Melissa McDade
Rev. Amanda McMurtrey
Rev. James McSavaney
Rev. Daniel Mejia
Rev. Michelle Mejia
Rev.Galen R . Menne
Rev. Martha Meredith
Rev. Dr. James M. Miller
Rev. Robert Mitzel
Rev. E. Maynard Moore, PhD
Rev. H. Edgar Moore
Rev. L. Katherine Moore
Rev Dr Raymond T Moreland
Rev. Dr. Laura Lee C Morgan
Rev. Linda Watkins Motter
Rev. Enger Muteteke
Rev. David C. Myers
Rev. Dr. Marilyn C. Newhouse
Rev. Dr. Stacey Nickerson
Rev. Laura Norvell
Rev. Norman Obenshain
Rev. Bryant M. Oskvig
Rev. Michael Parker II
Rev. Tiffany Patterson
Rev. Kate Payton
Rev. Andrew Peck-McClain
Rev. Brett Pinder
Rev Taysie Monroe Phillips
Rev. Dr. Wm. Louis Piel
Rev. Dr. Randy Pumphrey LPC, BCC
Rev. Dr. Joe Rainey
Rev. Sandy Rector
Rev. Kirkland Reynolds
Rev. Dr. Stephen Robison
Rev. Mark Schaefer
Rev. Bonnie Scott
Rev. Debbie Scott
Rev. Roberta J Scoville
Rev. Kara Scroggins
Rev. Wilson A. Shearer
Rev. Dr. Sue Shorb-Sterling
Rev. Dr. Mary Jo Sims
Rev. Troy Sims
Rev. Dean Snyder
Rev. Donna Claycomb Sokol
Rev. Kathy Spitzer
Rev. Thomas Starnes
Rev. Victoria Starnes
Rev. Dr. Anne Ross Stewart
Rev. Dawn Stewart
Rev. Donald S. Stewart
Rev. Dr. Gerald Stone
Rev Malcolm Stranathan
Rev. David E. Stum
Rev. Shannon Sullivan
Rev. Carissa Surber
Rev. Katherine (Heflin) Talley
Rev. Matthew Tate
Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames
Rev. Laurie Pierce Tingley
Rev. Dr. Mary Kay Totty
Rev. Dr. Douglas D. Tzan
Rev. Stephanie Vader
Rev. Dr. Eliezer Valentin-Castanon
Rev. Dr. Kirk VanGilder
Rev. Alicia L. Vanisko
Rev. Rebecca Vardiman
Rev Loretta Whitney Viner
Rev. Alisa Lasater Wailoo
Rev. Ruth A. Ward
Rev. Patricia Watson
Rev. Nancy J. Webb
Rev. Meredith Wilkins-Arnold
Rev. Julie Wilson
Rev. Lisa Wirkus
Rev. J. Philip Wogaman
Rev. Chris A. Wood
Rev. Dr. Kathryn Tarwater Woodrow
Rev. Dr. Harold (Chip) B. Wright, II
Rev. Kevin Kim Wright
Rev. Anne Yarbrough
Rev. Linda S. Yarrow
Rev. Leo Yates, Jr.
Rev. Carol Cosens Yocum
Rev. Dr. Dennis E. Yocom
Rev. Jean Sutliff Young
Rev. Judy Young
Rev. Dottie Yunger

(Names will be updated periodically)

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