PRESS RELEASE: Methodist LGBTQ leaders respond to General Conference Commission meeting

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 1:50 pm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2015
Contact: Chett Pritchett, chett@mfsaweb.org
Amy DeLong, loveprevailsumc@gmail.com
M Barclay, m@rmnetwork.org

Methodist LGBTQ leaders respond to General Conference Commission meeting

April 21, 2105, Portland, OR – The General Commission on the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, the body organizing the church’s 2016 quadrennial governing meeting, General Conference, invited leaders from LGBTQ rights groups within the UMC to meet with it in closed session on April 20.

Following the meeting, the LGBTQ representatives – Dorothee Benz, Matt Berryman, Bridget Cabrera, Amy DeLong and Chett Pritchett – issued the following statement:

“The issue of whether the United Methodist Church will continue to discriminate against LGBTQ people is of paramount importance to the future and viability of the church, not to mention the well-being of queer people in and beyond the UMC. We are grateful for the commission’s invitation and the opportunity to be in ongoing conversation with them. We ask the commission to take concrete, affirmative steps to prevent the harm suffered by LGBTQ people at past General Conferences from recurring in 2016. Whatever the church’s theological differences, there can be no place for spiritual violence in the church of Jesus Christ.

We also request that the commission schedule the consideration of LGBTQ-related legislation at the very beginning of the plenary week in order for this discussion to receive adequate time.

Further, we insist that any attempt at “dialogue” or “holy conferencing” must begin with the explicit acknowledgement that in the context of discrimination and oppression true dialogue can never occur. Genuine dialogue requires equality, and in the UMC that equality does not exist. One party comes to these dialogues defined as less than the other party, and no amount of vocal wishing for us all to act as “brothers and sisters together” changes that.

We remain open to all discussions that contribute to the process of ending the oppression of queer people by the United Methodist Church, and we will continue to work tirelessly to bring about that day. We are committed to calling the UMC to its highest and best self.”

Dr. Dorothee Benz is the national representative for Methodists in New Directions; Matthew Berryman is the executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network; Bridget Cabrera is the deputy director of Reconciling Ministries Network; Rev. Amy DeLong is the founder of Love Prevails; and Chett Pritchett is the executive director of the Methodist Federation for Social Action.

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3 Responses to “PRESS RELEASE: Methodist LGBTQ leaders respond to General Conference Commission meeting”

  1. Marylyn Pettit Says:

    Well stated. Best wishes. I was a 35 year Methodist and bailed about seven years ago to the Episcopal denomination over this same issue. I am straight, but have man LBGT friends. God made all of us. All should have the same rights, especially in their own faith community. Good luck. All will be in my prayers.

  2. Rev Dr Reg & Barbara Olson Says:

    The two of us have attended every General Conference since 2000, in total or in part. As Representatives of the Parents Reconciling Network we hoped and dreamed of bringing the UMC into Christ’s Open Arms for all persons, since all persons are children of God. We are not to judge, that is up to God. We are to love all persons and strive to make lives more fully complete through a relationship with our Lord. It is not our duty to decide that race, sex, sexual orientation and other differences are good or bad, just to understand and appreciate the wonders provided to us by God. The UMC has been a terrible disappointment to us as parents and the vicious treatment that we have received at both General and Annual Conferences. My God Speak NOW!

  3. Mike Childs Says:

    It seems that these pushing the homosexual agenda have adopted the attitude that requires those who disagree with them to surrender first, and then we can discuss the issues. That is not going to happen.

    It is outrageous that the General Commission on the General Conference of the United Methodist Church would have a closed meeting with a group pushing an agenda that the United Methodist Church officially regards as “not compatible with Christian teaching.”. This alone shows that the Commission is biased and misusing their position. They should apologize and resign. You can bet that they do not intend to have a closed meeting to hear the concerns of the evangelical United Methodists.

    Shame on the General Commission of the General Conference of the UMC. They are rapidly pushing the UMC to schism.

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