Currently, and through May 20, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church is meeting at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. They are and will be struggling with the same issues of inclusion for LGBTQ persons that we in The Episcopal Church have struggled with. For this we offer a statement of support:
Statement of Support for The United Methodist General Conference
Clergy and members of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Oregon welcome our brothers and sisters in The United Methodist Church as you gather in Portland for your 2016 General Conference. As your denomination gathers to celebrate and discern God’s will for you, particularly around questions of human sexuality, we will be holding you in prayer. Episcopalians in Oregon are eager to share our experience of extending a full and unequivocal welcome to those who experience gender and sexual diversity. Our conversations around gender and sexuality – like yours – have not been without much pain and struggle, but we believe that the Spirit of God has brought us to a holy place in which the gifts of all people are being utilized by the church in creative and exciting ways. Our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clergy are God’s gift to the church. Welcoming all people in God’s name has strengthened our congregations and made us healthier, more honest, and more vital communities of faith. Extending the sacrament of holy matrimony to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters have been occasions of great joy and celebration: opportunities to bear witness to the depth and breadth of God’s expansive love for all people. We believe God has called our church into an evangelistic opportunity: a good word to share with a culture desperate for Christ’s healing and wholeness. We invite you to join us in proclaiming this good news of Jesus to a world that desperately needs to hear something more than tolerance: we seek a world in which all people are loved and embraced in Jesus’ name, and we commit to holding you in prayer as you engage in discernment around how you will respond to the Spirit’s call. We value our relationship with members of The United Methodist Church and commit to continue walking alongside you as together we minister to a hurting world.
The above statement has been signed by 72 members of the clergy of the Diocese of Oregon.
The statement and names of the signers is contained in this PDF: STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE UNITED METHODIST GENERAL CONFERENCE