At its quadrennial meeting last month, the United Methodist Church decided not to take up contentious LGBT issues. But that’s not stopping its regional conferences from making decisions on their own.
Two U.S. jurisdictions will consider three openly gay candidates for bishop next month.
The Rev. Karen Oliveto, the Rev. Frank Wulf and the Rev. David Meredith have been nominated for election at the meetings of the denomination’s Western and North Central jurisdictions July 13-16, according to the Reconciling Ministries Network.
It’s not the first time an openly gay candidate has been nominated — Wulf has been nominated before, according to Reconciling Ministries Executive Director Matt Berryman — but there’s “no question” there is momentum this time after last month’s United Methodist Church General Conference in Portland, Ore.
“I feel like there’s a kind of a groundswell of movement,” Berryman said.
“Many, many annual conferences are refusing to comply with the Book of Discipline, openly ordaining LGBT people, passing resolutions that affirm the image of God in transgender people and really building on the pivot that was implemented at General Conference.”
According to the denomination’s Book of Discipline, “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”