Petition to the 2017 New York Annual Conference:

One in Christ for the Transformation of the World

Resolution Number:

General Church Budget Implications: None

Global Implications: None

WHEREAS The Apostle Paul reminds us, along with the church of Corinth, that we are all one in Christ, one body with many diverse and beautiful members: “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.  If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear would say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” (1 Corinthians 12:14-16, 20-21).”

WHEREAS None of us is dispensable and none of us is unworthy of full membership in the body of Christ or in the life and ministries of the church;

WHEREAS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex clergy have made important contributions to our conference, faithfully serving churches in appointments, and have worked diligently and prayerfully “to create disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world,” bringing unique gifts and grace to the people they serve;

WHEREAS In the course of following their call to minister, LGBTQI clergy have suffered psychic and spiritual harm because of discrimination by the very denomination they serve;

WHEREAS the families and allies of LGBTQI clergy have also suffered psychic and spiritual harm;

WHEREAS LGBTQI clergy have been made more vulnerable by institutional oppression through General Conference decisions in the last 44 years and the recent rulings of the Judicial Council.

WHEREAS The decisions not only fracture the body of Christ and dehumanize LGBTQI persons, but do harm to the entire Methodist connection.  

WHEREAS, We the LGBTQI clergy persons of the New York Annual Conference and our families are harmed by the heterosexist and homophobic language of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals;" (¶ 304.3 Book of Discipline) and

WHEREAS, We live the experiences detailed in this petition and our beloved families are used against us; and

WHEREAS, Our fully loving relationships are reduced to sexual acts and our relationships as partners, spouses, mothers, fathers, siblings, children, and grandchildren are demeaned and stigmatized; and

WHEREAS, We respond to God's Great Commission to proclaim the good news to all people and are pastors and deacons who have been called by God, certified as candidates, licensed, commissioned and/or ordained; and we intend to live into the reality of the beautiful, bold, diverse, and inclusive Body of Christ; and

WHEREAS, Collectively as United Methodist Queer Clergy and all members of the New York Annual Conference, we re-affirm our baptismal vows “to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves,” especially when it exists in our own Book of Discipline and in  rulings of Judicial Council;

WHEREAS, The New York Annual Conference aspires to live as the Beloved Community:

WHEREAS, We respond to God’s Great Commission to proclaim the good news to all people, and we intend to live into the reality of the beautiful, bold, diverse, and inclusive Body of Christ.

WHEREAS, We uphold our denomination’s mandate to foster inclusiveness. “Inclusiveness means openness, acceptance, and support that enables all persons to participate in the life of the church, the community, and the world [and] therefore, inclusiveness denies every semblance of discrimination” (¶ 140 Book of Discipline).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED That the New York Annual Conference remains in support and in solidarity with LGBTQI clergy persons; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That the actions by the legislative and judicial branches of The United Methodist Church should be considered divisive by the members of our denomination and our ecclesiastical leaders and bodies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That the New York Annual Conference instead privileges the justice-rooted gospel of Christ over codified discrimination and unjust laws in our denomination and civil societies at large; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That with humility, integrity, and courage, we renew our commitment to continue affirming LGBTQI clergy persons in their calls to ministry, support them in their service to the church, and prayerfully work with them to transform all forms of institutional discrimination.


United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus:

Rev. Lea A. Matthews

Rev. Alex da Silva Souto

Rev. Elizabeth Jones

Rev. Ronald Tompkins

Rev. Siobhan Sargeant

Rev. Dr. Althea Spencer-Miller

Pastor Kathleen Meyerson

Rev. Bruce Lamb

Pastor Kathleen Reynolds

Rev. Ardis Letey

Rev. Martha E. Vink

Pastor Christine Lindeberg

Rev. Elyse Ambrose

Rev. Marguerite K. Jhonson

Rev. Dr. Emily Hall

Rev. Sara Thompson-Tweedy

Rev. Jay Williams

Pastor Alexis Francisco

Pastor Micky Correa

Rev. Jani Darak-Druck

Pastor Kaiyra Greer

Rev. Karen Cook