BWC Laity Letter
To Our Siblings in Ministry to the Baltimore-Washington Conference:

We laity of the Baltimore-Washington Conference (BWC), lament over the continued discrimination against and exclusion of marginalized people, particularly LGBTQIA+ people and their families, from the full life of our church. We are outraged at the outcome of the recent General Conference Special Session in St. Louis, an outcome that, if upheld, will be disastrous for ministries in our churches. The BWC has a long history of addressing racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, and discrimination based on economics and cultural values. We must continue to be messengers of Christ’s inclusion of all people within the life of our United Methodist congregations.

We commit ourselves to working to make space for new life breathed into our denomination -- a denomination that fully reflects God’s love for all people. We recognize that our denomination has broken Wesley’s first General Rule to “do no harm.” We acknowledge that the tone and results of General Conference 2019 have inflicted deep harm on all church and community members; that harm was most deeply inflicted on LBGTQIA+ members of our denomination. Some of us are so wounded that we are struggling with the question of whether to remain in the denomination we love.

As a result, we are called to proclaim both our belief and our dissent. We refuse to follow any exclusionary provisions against LGBTQIA+ Christians. We reject the notion that the lives of LGBTQIA+ people are “incompatible with Christian teaching.” We believe that all people bear the image of God. We affirm the diversity of sexual orientations and gender expressions that God has created and called good (Genesis 1:26-31). We follow Jesus Christ, whose teachings and ministry were revolutionary for his time and his society (Luke 19:1-10, Mark 3:1-6; Luke 7:36-50). We know that at his earthly end, he took up the cross and was crucified in the manner of a marginalized member of his own society, so that in his death, all people, marginalized and privileged, are redeemed and invited into the full life that God gives. Any limits that we might put on this invitation is against the all-encompassing nature of God’s grace.

Therefore:
As Laity of the BWC we believe that as baptized Christians, we are all ministers. We will work with our congregations to move the denomination toward full inclusion in all facets of our life together. We will support clergy in this commitment and partner with them to extend the grace of marriage to all people. We will recognize, affirm, and celebrate the covenant of marriage between any two persons who meet the commitments and standards for marriage, regardless of their gender/gender identity/gender expression or sexual orientation. We affirm, and cannot let our clergy deny, the covenant of marriage to committed, same-sex couples.

We will support all qualified persons who answer a call to ministry and welcome LGBTQIA+ ministers who are appointed to our faith communities. When called to serve on Staff-Parish Relations Committees, District Committees on Ministry, or the Board of Ordained Ministry, we will support candidates for ministry and clergy appointed to our congregations, without respect to their sexual orientation or gender/gender identity/gender expression.

We laity of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, stand in solidarity with other United Methodist Conferences, standing publicly in the face of this injustice. We are ready to chart a way forward for United Methodism in this Annual Conference and around the connection, a way forward that includes all of God’s children. Now is the moment to unite in confessing the harm we have done and continue to do to LBGTQIA+ persons and their families; covenanting to faithfully keep our baptismal vow to follow Jesus Christ in resisting “evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves”; and boldly sharing the Good News of God’s abundant grace.

Grace and Peace be yours,

Heather Akehurst-Krause
Ursula Alao
Ryan Alban
Deaconess Logan Alley
Natalie Alm
Debbie Ambrose
Carol Anderson
April Anderson
marianne anderson
Caroline Anderson-Gray
Susan macDCG Andrews
Dick Annis-Forder
Deadra C. Atkins
Teri Augustine
Steve Augustine
Peter Augustine
Librada Azócar-Guerra
Ned Bachman
Ellen H. Bachman
Tabitha Bailey
Sheldon Bair
Barbara Bair
Jay R Ball
Louise Ballard
Jack Ballard
Richard Ballew
Helen Ballew
William Band
Tammy Band
Rebecca B. Barbusca
Pat Barkdoll
Jill Barker
Phil Barna
Kathy E. Barna
Grace Barna
Abigail Barna
John Barnes
Tom Bartley
Susan Bartley
Marty Bartley
Leah Bartley
Andy Bartley
Gladys B. Baxley
David Beachler
Michael K. Beard
Nancy Beers
Erica Benjamin
Bob Benn
Deacon Bill Bennett
Donna Benson
Neil Bergsman
Carol L Berman
Debra Bernhardt
William Bernhardt
Eugene Beye
Virginia Bickford
Carol Billett
Gilbert Bishop
Sheldon Bair
Angela Blair
Helen Blakey
Megan Blizzard
Ronnie Bohn
Larry Bohn
Barbara Scott Bond
Anna Bostic
Laura Braly
Patsy Brannon
Peggy Brengle
Leslie Brengle
Kyler Brengle
Rose Brice
David C. Brock
Candice Brosnan
Carolyn Browender
Tony Brown
Maryellen Brown
Elizabeth Brown
Carol Brown
Ann Brown Birkel
Suzanne Fossett Browning
Cathy Bryan
Wes Buchanan
Rachael Buker
Kevin Buker
Kimberly Burge
Marva Burgess
Medessa Burian
Lauren Busky
Elizabeth McMath Byam
Amy Byard
Toni Byrd
Jackie Cage
Patricia Campbell
Shannon E. Canal
Sarah Capper
Jeannette Carlson
Jennifer Carr
Charles H. Carr
Harris Cauler
Sue Cavendish
Richard Cavicchi
Arlene Chen
Dianne Cinnamon
Becky Clapp
Alison J. Clark
Carl Cockburn
Karen Codner
Jay Codner
David G Codner
Daniel Colbert
Lori Cole
Tracy L. Collins
Joyce Conley
James Conner
Tom Contee
Tracy Content
jean correl
Eunice Corse
Jon Cotugno
Joan Countryman
Nancy Cox
Barbara Cox
Ashley Cox
Jacqui Cragg
Gordon Cragg
Martha Craver
Pam and Ray Crawford and family
Katy Cribbs
Ed Crump
Ella Curry
Karen Daniels
Angeline Daniels
John Danz
Maureen C. Danz
Judith Davies
Carolyn Davis
Michele DeBerry
Polly DeHart
Renée Workman Delacroix
Lee DeLong
Ruth Irene Dent
Teri DeVoe
Dennis DeVoe
Daniel Diaz
Martha Dickey
Anne Dickinson
Ashley DiLeo
Vickie DiSanto
Van Dixon
Michael Doan
Joyce Dodson
Sandra L. Doggett
Lisa Dolce
Steven Doxzen
Dotty Doyle
Meredith Drumm
Susan Dumont
Lizzi Duncan
Susan Dunn
Jenn Duthoy
Katie Dyson
Emily Dyson
Mason Dziuk
Wendy N. Edstrom
Judith Edstrom
Patricia Elder
Sherry L Elswick
John Enders
John Enders
REBECCA ENG
Mary Lou English
J. Craig English
Denise Erlandson
Daniel Evans
Wendy Feaga
Mary Fear
Debbie Fehrmann
CHALICE FIKE
Daniel B Fisher
Margaret Foote
Benjamin Fortney
Mary K. Foster
Jamiee Foster
James S. Foster
carl A Fretts
Joe Friebele
Elaine S Friebele
Suzanne Friis
Lisa Fthenakis
Lori Fuchs
Marcia Rose Fuoss
N. Gabler
Thomas Gaeng
Janet Garman
Jacob Gee
Alison Gee
Alison Gee
Karl Georgi
Shannon Gibbs
Peter Gilbert
Jody Glancy
Bill Gluth
Kathleen M Goebel
Ray M. Goodrow
Rich Goodwin
Leigha Gordillo
Eddie Gouge
Cathleen Gough
Melinda Grady
Amanda Graham
Alice Graham
Susan Gralley
Kevin Gralley
Kent Grasso
Bob & Mary Alice Gray
Sydney Green
Wendy Greenawalt
Barb Gregory
Kelly M. Grice
Mary Lou Griffin
John H.Griffin
Susan B Gross
Nancy Groth
Melissa Gryder
Kaitlyn Guerrero
Patricia Haas
Laura Haas
Martha Hahn
Susan Hall
Norma Hamilton
James Hamilton
Connie Hamm
Jo Handley
Christine Hanks
Peggy Hansen
John Harden
Becky Harding
Sarah Hassmer
Elizabeth M. Haynes
Paul Hazen
Erika Heald
Liz Helke
Brinkley Hellams
Alicia Henning
Liliana Hernandez
Nick Heynen
Kelli Hicks
Richard G. Higgins Jr.
Margaret Higgins
Sue Hill
Michael E. Hill
Willard Hillegeist
Carmen Hilton
Nadine Ann Hines
Philip A. Hipley
Richard Hirata
Kathleen Hirata
Norman Hirtle
Raymond Hodgson
Deanna Hodgson
Nancy Holland
Elizabeth Hook
Jody Horner
Wayne Huff
James H. Hulme
Casey Humbyrd
Wendy Iglehart
Jen Ihlo
I am for INCLUSION
Al Ingalls
Tijuana M. Irons
Frances Irvin
Suzanne James
Eldon James
Chet Jechura
Troy-Anthony Jenkins
Shelley Jessee
Tom and Elise Johnson
Leah Johnson
Andrea Johnson
Kathryn Johnston
Christena Johnston-Pulliam
Jill Joubert
George A. Kahl
Karen Kahn
Debbie Kalendek
Karen
Scott Karsner
Betsey Katiti
Mary Alice Kautz
Kazuyoshi Kawata
Paul Kazyak
Clare Kazyak
Paul Keefer
Michael J Keller
Warren Kelley
Phyllis A Kelley
Jillian Kelley
Brad Kenn
David Kennedy
Kara C. Ker
Jonathan Kidwell
Jen Kidwell
Duane Kidwell
Kerry Kidwell-Slak
Angella L Kirby
Edith Kirk
Chuck Kluepfel
Karen Knauer
Cathy Dee Knepper
Kirby Knight
William Knox
Robert Knuth
Sherie Koob
Mike Koob
Michelle Koul
Lee Krähenbühl
Heather Kraus
Mitch Krebs
Barbara Krebs
Angela Krebs
Hannah Krull
Kurt Kuhn
JoAnn Kulesza
Marge Kumaki
Kristin Kumpf
Catherine M. La Costa
Bruce Lamb
Jennifer Lamb-Taylor
Lori Landis
Barb Leng
Tanya Langlois
Phyllis Lansing
E. Virginia (Ginny) Lapham
Ruth A. Lauderbaugh
Anthony Leo Lawless
Jan Lawrence
Cassandra Lawrence
Susie Lee
Andrew Lee
Robert J. Levering
Lindi Lewis
Kathleen Liedy
David & Judy Lindley
Stephen P. Link
Jenny Lipford
Martha Lipscomb
John Lipscomb
Sherrie Little
Laura File Long
Dustin Long
Carolyn Lunking
Steven D. Lutz
Sharon K Lyon
Brian Maciel
Kara Maciel
Mike Maltby
James Manley
Mary Jo Marchant
Justin M. Martell
Katherine Martin
Carol Matlin
William J Matson
Emily J. Mayers
Alan E. Mayers
Kijana Mayfield
Karen McCann
Joli McCathran
Meg McCormick
Ann McCulloch
Mary McCurty
Earl McCurty, Jr.
Ellen J McDaniel
Elizabeth McDonold
Joyce McDonough
Kristen Campbell McGuire
Libby McKnight
Richard F. McManus
Natalie McManus
Jan McNally
Rachel McNamara
Mary Jo (Jody) McPherson
Lynn McReynolds
Pegg Melfa
Daean Menke
Deborah English
Donna Meoli
Mary Jo Messenger
Anne Metcalf
Kathie Metz
Jana Meyer
Flora Milans
Debbie Milburn
Cassandra Miller
Angela Miller
Virginia Momirovic
Sarah Moore
Paul Moore
Elizabeth Moore
Michael Moran
Lara Cooke Morford
Patricia Dawn Moyer
Fred Mueller
Mayra Munoz
Trish Murray
Alice Neary
Joyce Neumark
Paul Newhouse
Clo Newton
Becky Nicodemus
Marianne Noble
Jane Northern
Joyce Northwood
Amanda Olear
Chris Olsen
Ira Ostrowski
David Ottalini
Ken Ow
Terry Page
Pat Page
Simon Pak
Jeehye Kim Pak
Sarah Park
Dr. John C. Parkhurst
Marilyn K Parr
Kenneth R Parr
Sue Parrish
Harold Patterson
Carrie Pattison
Becky Pauliny
Deborah Pavelik
Jill Peddicord
Kaitlyn Peltzer
Amy Peregoy
Rachel Perella
Margaret Perry
Steve Pflasterer
Lyn Phelps
Lorette Picciano
Michele Pickens
Judy Pickens
Elizabeth Pickens
Susan Pierce-Richards
Judy Pittman
Daniel Plante
Jacqueline Reid Ploof
Nancy Pond
Joe Prefontaine
Jim Pritchett
Angela Pupino
Mittie Theobald Quinn
James Quinn
Bill Ragsdale
Nancy Randall
Justice H. Randolph
Kenzie Raulin
Beth Reilly
Barrie B Reinders
Jarrett Rettman
Jason Rhee
Peggy Rhorer
David Rice
Eugene Rich
Elaine Rich
Della Richardson
Sarah Ricketts
Jennifer Ricketts
William C. Riggs
June Willis Risley
Elise Ritter-Clough
Sue Rittmeyer
Chelsea Rivas
Susan Roberts
Stephen Roberts
Kelly Robier
Tina Robinson
Keica Robinson
Jim Roessler
Priscilla Rollins
Carol Rose
Tyler Rosenberger
Joyce Rosenblatt
Melissa Rosenblatt
Sharon Row
Mallory Row
Linwood Row
Patrick Rowley
Kathy Rudisill
Jeffrey T. Rudolph
Gregory W. Ruff
Phil Rush
Anne S Rush
Rian Russell
Shawn Russell
Imelda Russell
Wendy Ryan
Susan F Sager
Anita Sama
Emily Sama-Miller
Heather Sanders
Barbara Sanders
Al Saxon
Sharon Schillinger
Douglas M Schmidt
Susan Schneider
Bill Schneider
Christopher Schroeder
Susan L Schwarz
Heather Schwenk
Lori Sciannella
R. Lynne Scott
Lillian B. Scott
Laurel Scott
Beth Scott
Brian Seemann
Kevin Shaner
Shannon Parkin
Beth Ann Mentusky
Joyce Lee Shields
Jenn Shipley
Laura Polk Siegel
Jill Simmerman
Lois Simmons
Kristin Simmons
Glenn Simmons
Helen Simon
Christopher Simon
Peggy A Simpson
Leslie J Simpson
Neal A. Sipe
Larry Slagle
Debbie Slatkin
Diane Slavin
Morgan Slusher
Jeffrey A. Smiley
Sandy Smith
Nancy Smith
Kathy Smith
Kathie B. Smith
Jennifer Smith
Janet Smith
james b smith
Jacob smith
Earl W. Smith
Dane & Judy Smith
Bruce M Smith
Beth Smith
Una Song
Lynn Sopher
Katie Spearman
Valerie Staats
Mary-Margaret Stacy
Chuck Starkey
barb starkey
Shawn Steffy
Stellamommie
Christine Stelloh-Garner
Janie Stevenson
Beth Strakonsky
Jacki Stranathan
Ronnie Streff
Jean W. Strucko
Carolyn Strum
Marguerite Stucki
Matthew Surber
Arlene Suros
Nancy swartwout
Anne Sweeney
Evelyn Swink
Simon Taflan
John Taflan
Heidi Taflan
Anna Taflan
Danielle Tate
Barbara D. Tate
Cynthia Taylor
Preston J Taylor
Jeffrey L. Taylor
Carolyn Taylor
Patricia Telkins
Roxanne L Terry
Steven Thompson
Michael Thompson
Paul Tiao
Milt Tipperman
Eileen Tipperman
Kerm R. Towler
Jillian Trawick
B. Teresa Tropf
Michelle Turner
Kristin Turner
Elaine Upton
Kirsti Uunila
Nancy S Vader
Mei Vader
Kirsten Vader
Ana Vader
Donna A. VanSant
Dianne VanSciver
Lee Ann Vasil
Sally Vavrek
Amanda Vierling
Suzanne Stokes Vieth
Aubrey Van Kirk Villalobos
Dan Vock
Cheryl Wadhwa
Hilary Wagner
Jana Wagoner
Rebecca Holmberg Walker
Jim Walker
Michael H. Walls
Ginger Stewart Walls
Beth Walsh
virginia ward
Alan B. Ward
Millicent Wasell
Dwight Watson, Jr.
Davidson Watts
Elnora Wease
JoAnne Weatherholtz
Kent H. Weaver
Annice Mattingly Weaver
Jackie Weavill
Tracey Webb
Nancy Guthrie Weber
Richard E. Wegner
Ginny Ann Weinberger
Virginia M. Weiss
Stephanie P Weiss
Barbara Weiss
Elder Witt Wellborn
Walter G Wells
Tom Wells
Suzanne Wenzel
Katie Weston
Jeff Weston
Eric Whisenhunt
Carol Whitney
Marilyn B Whitted
Mary K Wilcox
Suzanne Williams
Laura Beth Williams
Kirsten Williams
James H Williams
Drew Williams
Gwen Williamson
Mary Ann Willow
Jo Ann Wingard
Lisa M. Wisniewski
Melynne Wisniewski
Mel T Wisniewski
Valerie Wittkamper
Gail Wolfe
Robert H. Wood
Patricia Wood
Deborah Anne Woodcock
Marsha Woods
Linda Worthington
Nancy Wright
Caitlin Shearer
Margery Yeager
Marcia W. York
D Yost
Rob Zajdel
Michael Zaleski
Kristine Zaleski
Debbie Zechar
Marjorie Zimmermann
Jeri Zulli

NOTE: Names will be updated periodically.


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