An Open Letter to Our United Methodist Church

Advent, 2017

              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
              CONTACT:
              Communications Lead: Rev. Lindsey Kerr lkerr125@gmail.com 412-576-5763
              Co-Conveners: Rev. Alex da Silva Souto pastor.alex.souto@gmail.com 415-706-5397
               Rev. Lois McCullen Parr gizhilois@yahoo.com 224-436-0769

Beloved in Christ,

Greetings in the name of the Christ born among us! In this season of new life and light, we pause to consider the year 2017. This year revealed both fissures of dissension and bonds of accord as The United Methodist Church sought to discern a faithful way forward in theology and practice with LGBTQAI+ persons. The anticipated release of The Commission on a Way Forward expected in May 2018, as well as the special General Conference scheduled for February 2019 to consider its recommendations, illustrate both the pain of continuing disagreement and the longing for reconciliation.

As we begin this new year celebrating the hope, reconciliation, and joy of Jesus Christ, the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus (UMQCC) seeks a way forward that embraces both peace and justice in our community. As we know from Psalm 27, we are to choose faith over fear and joy over despair; assured of God’s presence and power through all the challenges of life. The presence of God does not shield us from struggles and suffering, but it does mean that even our most pointed disagreements can lead to healing and renewal. Following a time of particular difficulty and hardship, the author of Psalm 27 declares: “Then my head will be exalted, above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.” (27:6) We are thankful that in Jesus, the Christ, our heads are lifted above all human constructions of enmity toward a vision of our common unity as children of God.

We find hope this year in the diverse means by which people of faith have experienced and witnessed God’s salvation, healing, and grace throughout the ages. We find joy in recognizing how our varieties of perspectives, expressions of devotion, and vocational commitments are shaped by our God-given uniqueness, while still unified in Christ.. Our prayer is for a future in which each retain these sacred identities, and for a Church that chooses faith over fear in ministry to all the world.

Peace in the name of the Christ born among us,

The United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus

 JESUS MAFA. The birth of Jesus with shepherds, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN

JESUS MAFA. The birth of Jesus with shepherds, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN