An Open Pastoral Letter from the Undersigned Deacons, Elders, Associate Members, and Local Licensed Pastors of The West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church
Dear West Ohio United Methodists,
We experience deep sorrow for the harm caused to our Church and especially persons identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual by the recent actions taken at the 2019 General Conference. We affirm that all are created in the image of God and are of sacred worth. Our deep sorrow stems from when the opportunity arose for our denomination to stand up for justice and inclusion, instead the choice was made to further divide and exclude.

In our diverse mission fields where we seek to make disciples and transform the world, we hear the pain caused by the actions of the General Conference. We feel the despair of those who have lost hope and share the grief of those who felt they have lost their church, in a real sense their family.

While we celebrate the rich history, ministry, and diversity of our United Methodist tradition and hope for a day when all can be together, we cannot abide further discrimination and harm to be done to our LGBTQIA+ families and friends. Discrimination anywhere breaks the Body of Christ.

Therefore:
1. We celebrate that all are beloved children of God, persons of sacred worth and we celebrate the gifts that all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, bring to the life of the church and beyond.
2. We affirm our love of Wesleyan, Biblical understanding, theology, and spirituality; and believe that a United Methodist way of Christ’s grace and love still has something to offer to a hurting and divided world yearning for peace.
3. We will not abide by the restrictions placed on LGBTQIA+ people, their families and friends in the Book of Discipline. We will provide pastoral care and leadership to all God’s people and will not discriminate between those who share our convictions or oppose them. We take our authority as clergy to perform marriages per our consciences for our congregants and communities, whosoever they are.
4. We challenge the Districts and Conference Boards of Ministry, and the Bishop and Cabinet to honor the call and gifts without prejudice of those coming for ordination and appointment who are LGBTQIA+.

We believe the 2019 General Conference marked a profound change in The United Methodist Church as we have known it. We cannot undo the harm done, and yet we have hope. The Spirit is breaking forth in new ways and cannot be contained by legislative structures and conference proceedings.

We are Resurrection people. Together we are ready to chart a new way forward for the people called United Methodists in West Ohio and throughout the connection in which we can stand with integrity and full inclusion.

If the Spirit is leading you to these same convictions, we invite you to add your name to this letter by filling out the form below and clicking on “Submit.”


In the grace and peace of Christ,

Rev. Larry Kreps
Rev. James Waugh
Rev. John Keeny
Rev. Dr. R. Stanley Sutton
Rev. Colleen Ogle
Rev. William Hunter
Rev. David W. Meredith
Rev. Karen Muntzing
Rev. Mary S. Holm
Rev. John R Wooden
Rev. Lowell Peterson
Rev. Kate Smith
Rev. John Edgar
Rev. Dr. Cathy Johns
Rev. Angie Cox
Rev. Mary Sullivan
Rev. Dr. Amelia Cooper Boomershine
Rev. David David
Marni Hal
Rev. Dr. Judith Guion-Utsler
Rev. Andrew Burns
Rev. Jim Donnan
Rev.Dr. Carla A. Stengel
Rev. John C. Wagner
Rev. Jeffrey S. Mullinix
Rev. Pam Brater
Rev. Laura Young
Rev. Bryan Bucher
Linda Young
Arlene C Williams
Rev. Becky Piatt
Rev. Dr. Kevin Orr
Rev. Dr. R. Gwinn Lacy
Rev. John Wallace
Rev. Anna Guillozet
Rev. Dr. Henry C. Stringer
Rev. Brian Wood
Rev. Patty Matthews
Rev. Mark Reed
Rev. Dawn Swartz
Rev. Cheri Holdridge
Rev. Dr. Julie Carmean
Rev Beverly Hume
Rev. Dr. Deborah K. Stevens
Susan L. Dickerson, Leadership Chair
Rev. Cyndy Garn
Mrs. Judith M. Salyer
Rev. Jerry Hill
Rev. Dr. Donald H Wallick, Jr.
Rev. Glenn Schwerdtfeger
Rev. Marcus Atha
Rev Joe Hadley (retired)
Rev. Wendy Hansen-Smith
Judy Flippo, Stephen Ministry Leader
Rev. Jan Harry
Rev. Elaine Parulis-Wright
Rev. Matt Yoder
Rev. Linda Wallick
Rev. Jennifer Kimball Casto
Rev. Sue Ellen Miller
Rev. Paulette Wittenbrink, retired
Rev. Michelle Baler
Rev. Larry Clark
Rev. Dr. Douglas Damron
Rev. Jon R. Powers
Rev. Lynn Pease
Steven M. Dunn Lay Speaker/Church Council Chair
Rev. Dave Weaver
Rev. Steven Putka
Rev. Dave Hubbard
Rev. Dr. Wayne Albertson
Rev. Herman Emmert
Rev. Dr. Lori Reiber
Rev. Roger L. Grace
Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Boomershine
Deaconess Marcia Florkey
Rev Debbie Holder
Rev. Heather Nordgren
Rev. Kara Jones
Rev. Jennifer Casey
Rev. Anita D. Wood
Rev. Kristin Langstraat
Rev. Thomas MacFarland
Rev. Amy Aspey
Rev. Laurie Lynn Clark
Rev. Danny Dahl (ret.)
Rev. Marianne Wilson
Rev Dr Reginald Olson, in memory by Barbara Olson
Rev. John Girard
Rhoda Brooks
Rev. Benji Sayre
Rev. Steven North
Rev. Vera Welker
Rev. Richard L. Thomas
Rev. Brent Dearnell
Carla Fox Chiles
Rev. Jeremy (Jay) Moyers
Rev. Patricia A. Wagner
Rev. Jay D. Anderson
Rev. David Pettengill
Rev. Kimberly Wisecup
Rev. Beth Irwin
Rev. Dr. George C. Phillips
Rev. Michael Slaughter
Rev.Dr.Paul E Stuckey
Rev. Scott Russ
Chaplain Mark Johnson
Rev. Elizabeth Wineland
Rev. Nancy G. Turner
Rev. Ronald Payne
Rev. Harold Salverda, Retired
Rev. Mark Lancaster
Rev. William Koppert
Rev. Grayson Atha
Rev. William T. Tolliver, Jr.
Rev. Brett Kelly
Rev. Lowell Headley
Rev. Charles W. Loveless
Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf
Rev. Dr. Brooks W. Heck
Rev Terry R. Heck
Rev. Paula W. Stewart
Rev. Elizabeth Rand
Rev. David Hett
Robert Bowden
Rev Mike Pratt
Rev. Darryl Fairchild
Rev. Katherine J Riley
Rev. Linda Carter
Rev. Norman "Pete" Snook
Rev. Dr. Peggy L T Garrison
Rev. Laura Cean Wilson
Roger Nichols
Rev Becky Ploughe
Rev. Bill Hull
Rev Lisa Kerwin
Rev. Marie Smith
Rev Daniel K. Held
Rev. Douglas Dean
Rev. Daniel Kiger
Rev. Richard L. Clark
Rev. Charles W. Hill
Rev. Greg Henneman
Rev. Jim Riggs
Rev. Suzanne Fountaine
Rev. Johnny Phillips, Jr.
Rev. Jessica L. Cavinee
Brian Montgomery, Certified Lay Minister, Lay Speaker
Rev. Keith Vesper
Rev. Alan Brown II
Lisa Deaton
Rev. James Weible
Rev. Seth Lindemann
Rev. Becky Schofield Motter
Rev. Paul Sittason Stark
Rev. Robert English
Rev E. Jill Croswell
Rev. Ruth Solo
Rev. Patricia Searfoss (retired)
Rev. Carley Brewster
Rev. Dr. Beth Atkins Vieira
Rev. Sue McClelland
Rev. Jennifer Bailey
Rev. Katharine Schaefer
Rev. Robert Erickson
Rev Jon K Sayers
Rev. Mebane Pridgen McMahon
Rev Dr Gary Eubank
Rev. Patricia M Oesterle
Rev. Jessica Stonecypher
Rev. David Woodyard, retired
Rev. Julian A. Davies
Rev. Dr. Rory Stauber
Lynette (Decker) Wood. Retired
Rev. Dr. Diane Lobody
Rev. Lynette (Decker) Wood
Rev. James C. Nathan
Rev. Ted Witt, II
Reverend Desiree Carter, retired
Rev. Cheryl Enders
Rev. George Brewer
Rev. Dr. Robert H Ball
Rev. Jane Faber
Rev. Dr, Roger L.Merredith
Rev. Jaime Wirth
Rev. Don E peterson
Rev. Laura Bensman
Rev. Susan Whigham
Rev. L. Carlyle Martin
Rev. Sherron Courneen
Rev. Alan Carroll
Rev John Sellers
Rev. Dr. Eugene Folden
Rev. Nancy Day-Achauer
Rev. Robert Clo, retired
Rev. Melonie T. Harnish O
Rev. E. Neil Gaiser
Rev. Dr. Joyce J. Michael
Rev. Megan Croy
Dr. Marlene Lansman Deringer
Rev. Timothy Forbess
Rev. Dr. Todd D. Anderson
Rev. Dr. Patricia Anderson Cook
Rev. Angie D. Sherer
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Reed
Rev. Bud Heckman
Rev. Peter Hamm
Rev. Barbara Cooper
Rev. Dr. Robert L. Lindamood
Rev. Dr. Stacy Evans
Rev. Barbara Wood Salyers
Rev. Dale E Guckenberger
Rev Dr Rebeka Maples
Rev. Samiel Harnish
Rev Paul Wesley Steele
The Rev. Dr. Harold V. Hartley III
Rev. Lee Kreider
Wesley J. Vesey
Rev. Robert McDowell
Rev. Bonnie Loudner
Rev. Barbara Wiechel
Rev Dr Mearle L Griffith
Kelly Transue
Rev. Brett A. Kelly
Rev. Robert L. Knell
Rev. Cheryl E. Evans
Rev Karen Pellett
Ms Nancy Naker
Rev. Stephen Gill
Rev. Beverly Avers, Retired
Rev. Scott Griswold
Rev. Linda Stafford
Dr. Ervin Smith
Rev. Stephen L. Bennett
Rev. Debra Egloff
Licensed local pastor Greg Roberts
Rev. Todd Frail
Rev. Kandy Burch
Rev. Lindy Maurice-Saum
Rev. Bryan P. Lauzau
Rev. Diana Mathias
Gayle McCreery, Deaconess
Rev. Sara McSwords
Rev. Dr. Robert H Ball
Rev Melissa Steinecker
Rev Jane F. Faber
Rev. Virginia Geaman
Rev. Jane F. Faber
Rev. Alexandra Joy Rode
Rev. Dr. Thomas Rand
Rev. Linda B. Troy
Rev. Michael H Mahoney
Rev. Dr. Sylvia Hull
Rev. Michael Berne
Rev. Patricia A. Miller
The Rev. Dr. David G. Maze
Rev. Douglas Johns
Rev.Dr. Raymond Wiblin
Rev. Cindy Ware
Rev Dr P Mark Watts
Rev. Jennifer Burns
Rev. Larry Brown
Rev. Soren M. Hessler
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Quigley
Rev. Phyllis Fetzer
Rev. Pete Elliott
Rev. Dr. Steven Harsh
Rev. Trevor Wright
Lisa Wachenfeld, Leadership chair/BOM
Rev. Jackie Marshall
Rev. Robert J. Campbell
Rev. Helen Kay Dukes
Rev. Susan J. Kronbach
Rev. Ken Bedell
Rev. Alan Drew Barone
Rev Ted Witt, II
Rev. Caleb Henry
Rev. Sandra Huber
Rev. Dean Feldmeyer
Rev. James R. Christy
Rev. Susan Palmquist
Rev. Roger A. Ashley, retired
Rev. Loran L. Miracle
Rev Mark Damschroder
Rev Lynette (Decker)Wood
Rev. Joy E. Wigal
Rev. Lisa Ellison
Rev. Sherri U. Blackwell
Rev. Dr. Raymond Wiblin
Barbara Dilts Havlovic
Dr. H. Thomas wilson
Rev. Nicole Henderson-Johns
Rev.George Brown
Rev. Dr. Arnold Betz
Reverend Jean C. Schafer
Rev. Brian Thie
Rev. Barbara Dilts Havlovic
Rev. Fred A. Shaw, retired
Rev. Dean W. Penrod
Rev. Dr. Karen Crawford
Rev. Rebecca Scott Ozcomert
Rev. Tom Moyer
Rev. Karl Kumpf
Rev. Marilynn Schroeder
Rev Samuel M Stover
Rev. Richard Donnenwirth, retired
Rev John E. McRoberts
Rev. Alan Sippel
Rev. Vicki Robinson
Rev. Leonard Confar
Rev. Harold Stockman
Rev. April Blaine
Rev. Sharon Beattie
Rev. Dr. Phil Compton
Pastor Tom Harry
Chaplain Bruce Vincent
Rev. Jon Osmundson
Rev. Beth A. Holten
Rev. Ashley Valentine-Derrer
Rev. Ben Foulk
Rev. Sherry Gale, Ph.D.
Rev. Sarah Moon
Rev. Dr. Tamara Francis Wilden
Rev. Dr. Suzanne Allen
Rev. David Ziegel (retired)
Rev. Raymond A. Merz
Dr. Valerie Bridgeman

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