News from AllianceQ: January 2014

Supporting our Welcoming United Methodist Partners

If you’ve been following the news on Welcoming Church lately, you have heard of Rev. Frank Schaefer, a United Methodist pastor who was recently ‘defrocked’ by that denomination for officiating his son’s wedding to another man. Just Google him for all the news.

Prior to the final decisions by the United Methodist Church, the GLAD Alliance Council sent a letter to the Methodist Council of Bishops, standing with Rev. Schaefer and other affirming United Methodist Clergy. Here’s the text of that letter:

Council of Bishops
100 Maryland Ave NE
Washington DC 20002

Dear Friends in Christ

We, the Council of the GLAD Alliance, an organization composed of welcoming and affirming members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) including 120 Open & Affirming Congregations of the Christian Church, write to you in support of United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert and Pastor Frank Schaefer.

At our General Assembly this year our denomination resolved to call upon all expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as a people of grace and welcome, to acknowledge their support for the welcome of and hospitality to all.

The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline similarly calls the Church to an inclusiveness that “means openness, acceptance, and support that enables all persons to participate in the life of the Church, the community, and the world” (para. 140).

We have seen the power of inclusion and openness in our denomination, and in partnership with the Reconciling Ministries Network we have seen that power in the UMC. Indeed, we believe with you that welcome, grace, and inclusion are core to the Gospel of the Christ who was known for spending too much time with tax collectors and sinners.

And we believe that all means nothing less than all, including LGBT persons, when we are called to share the Gospel of God’s love.

Today we write in support of Bishop Talbert, Pastor Schaefer and other courageous ministers of the UMC who risk their credentials to stand for these Gospel values, and we respectfully ask the leadership of The United Methodist Church to allow them to continue their ministry unhindered by further punishment or threats of punishment.

Sincerely,

Karen Barr

Moderator, GLAD Alliance Council