WE CONFESS that we have not made room in our pews for LGBTQ+ people to be fully themselves, nor have we sought to fill our pulpits with LGBTQ+ voices.
WE CONFESS that we have not been available for our fearfully and wonderfully made LGBTQ+ youth and children in all the ways they have needed their church to understand, accept, love, and be in ministry with them.
WE CONFESS that we have discouraged our LGBTQ+ members from pursuing ministry, expected them to conceal or falsify their identities, or encouraged them to refrain from or hide loving relationships in order to be ordained.
WE CONFESS that we have used our church sanctuaries for the weddings of our heterosexual loved ones, even as we cruelly denied the use of these same sacred, cherished spaces to other members of our own congregations.
WE CONFESS that we have not claimed the unjust exclusion of our LGBTQ+ siblings as our problem. We have ignored the link between our denomination’s spiritual violence and society’s physical violence, including the harm done to LGBTQ+ children who are kicked out of their family homes, bullied, and/or murdered based on the teachings of our church about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
WE CONFESS that we have conveniently ignored the ways in which systems of oppression, including homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny, have served our own needs at the expense of others.
WE COMMIT to educating ourselves and others about the sins of homophobia, transphobia, racism, misogyny, and all systems of oppression.
WE COMMIT to holding our pastors accountable in their call to minister to all people, which includes weddings of same-sex couples.
WE COMMIT to fully supporting the pastor(s) in our home churches—emotionally, practically, and financially—if they face any punitive consequences for being in ministry with LGBTQ+ people, including officiating weddings of same-sex couples.
WE COMMIT to fully supporting our pastor(s) in our home churches—emotionally, practically, and financially—if they face any punitive consequences for coming out as LGBTQ+.
WE COMMIT to living into our baptismal vow to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
WE COMMIT to living intentionally, with hearts full of courage and love, into an expression of Methodism that is fully inclusive of people of all skin colors, ages, sizes/shapes, abilities, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, education levels, languages, socio-economic statuses, housing situations, cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, parental statuses, family configurations, employment statuses, and citizenship statuses.
WE CALL on our Staff Parish Relations Committees (SPRCs) to be inclusive and affirming of all God’s children, to include the hiring and support of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized candidates for staff and ministry positions in our churches.
WE CALL on our conference leaders to make space for the contribution and leadership of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized people at local, district, and conference levels in clergy, lay staff, volunteer, board, committee, and volunteer positions.
WE CALL on our clergy, district superintendents, and bishop to publicly acknowledge the breadth and depth of harm already done to LGBTQ+ people by the church and to publicly commit to “do no harm” to LGBTQ+ people from this moment forward.
WE CALL on our District Committees on Ordained Ministry (DCOMs) and our conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) to consider qualified candidates by their gifts for ministry and not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
WE CALL on our bishop to cease following unjust and discriminatory rules that exist only to exclude and harm LGBTQ+ people and their allies, and to dismiss any existing charges filed against conference clergy or laity for being LGBTQ+ or for being in ministry with LGBTQ+ people.
WE CALL on our Annual Conference delegates to elect open and proud LGBTQ+ delegates to General Conference 2020 in recognition of the historical vast underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ delegates at any UMC General Conference.
WE CALL for an end to the use of theological and biblical teachings to perpetuate emotional, spiritual, or physical violence against LGBTQ+ people.