By Heather Hahn, United Methodist News.
“We are here because God has called us to serve in this denomination, and our souls are fed by the theology in which we’ve been raised,” the 111 United Methodists write in what they call “A Love Letter to Our Church.” The signers come from across the United States, and one signer is from the Philippines. They identify themselves as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, and Intersex” in the letter.
Their letter comes a week after 15 clergy and clergy candidates in the New York Conferencetook a similar step of coming out together. It also comes just two days after the Rev. David Meredith, a United Methodist pastor in the West Ohio Conference, married Jim Schlachter, his boyfriend of 28 years.
These actions could put these clergy at risk of losing their credentials under church law, just as 864 delegates from around the globe are embarking on a 10-day legislative meeting that will determine church rules for the coming four years. Some of the May 9 letter signers are among the delegates.
However, the letter also indicates that many United Methodists are moving forward regardless of what General Conference decides, said Matt Berryman.