Another Watershed Moment?
The Methodist Federation for Social Action applauds the leadership, courage, compassion and faithfulness of those Bishops who have and will lend their names to the “Statement of the Counsel to the Church – 2011!”
Out of concern for the welfare of all God’s people, and, out of a special concern for the people of The United Methodist Church the Bishops are asking us to change the way we relate to people who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered.
• Will this be a watershed moment as was May 4, 1956, in Minneapolis when the General Conference of the Methodist Church approved full clergy rights for women?
The Bishops are calling us all to consider a more loving and just path than we have been on and remove the language and practices of discrimination that dehumanize some among us as “incompatible.”
• Will this be a watershed moment as was the 1968 General Conference, when the segregation of the Central Conference was abolished within our newly forming United Methodist Church?
The Bishops are declaring their conviction that the current disciplinary position of the United Methodist Church need not and should not be embraced as the faithful position for the future.
• Will this be a watershed moment as was the 1996 General Conference in Denver, when we stopped referring to persons with disabilities as being “handicapped?”
The Bishops are making known their names to share their personal convictions on the matter of excluding gifted and called clergy from ordination, as a way to encourage others to do the same.
• Will this be a watershed moment as was the “Denver 15” proclaimed, “We believe it is time to break the silence and state where we are on this issue that is hurting and silencing countless faithful Christians?”
The Methodist Federation for Social Action pledges to help our prophetic Bishops make this vision of hope for our denomination a reality with our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service; that in all things God’s love and grace might be glorified and made known to all!
You can read the Bishops' statement here.