CalledOUT Response on Judicial Council Rulings

 
In a week where United Methodist LGBTQI persons have been tokenized through the
announcement of the Council of Bishops’ Special Commission on “A Way Forward,” we are not
surprised, but are nonetheless harmed once again by the Judicial Council’s (JC) decisions to
further deny the humanity and dignity of LGBTQI persons in the UMC.

Specifically, we despair that the JC has taken the liberty to undermine the faithful work of the people of the New York, New England and Northern Illinois Annual Conferences and their Boards of Ordained Ministry. These Conferences and Boards affirmed called and qualified candidates for ordained ministry, commissioning and ordaining individuals among our LGBTQI CalledOUT clergy group. It is our hope that the NYAC, NEAC and NIAC Boards of Ordained Ministry and Bishops Middleton, Bickerton, Devadhar, and Dyck, will continue to affirm the commissioning and ordination of LGBTQI Clergy.

We lament and will resist the declaration by the Judicial Council that the New England Annual Conference “Action of Non-Conformity with the General Conference” is “out of order”.
Dehumanizing laws are simply unjust; no amount of legalism can change that. We believe it is
discrimination that is, in fact, “out of order.”

We commit ourselves to continue to act in faith, refusing to accept discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. As CalledOUT LGBTQI clergy, we commit ourselves to live out our sacred call to faithfully serve as ordained clergy, ever-pressing the denomination we serve to find its way to a just future, rooted in radical hospitality exemplified by Jesus Christ.
T
he Council of Bishops has missed an opportunity to offer our church “a way forward,” and the
Judicial Council has chosen the convenience of legalism over the defense of God’s justice and of those harmed by our policies of exclusion. At our Baptism, we vowed “to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” We call on our Bishops to stand with us in faithful witness to the Church against discrimination. We believe this is the clarion call of obedience to the Gospel.

In “A Pastoral Response” to our “Love Letter to the Church” released at GC2016, twenty-nine
bishops including Bishops Jane Middleton, Sudarshana Devadhar, and Sally Dyck said: “When
shall we United Methodists have the courage of Peter to stand and say that nothing that God has made is unclean?” Indeed, when will our Beloved Community embrace us fully as members of the Body of Christ? For 44 years we have waited while the powerful and the majority keep dragging us away from the altar. How much longer must we wait?

Your United Methodist CalledOUT LGBTQI Clergy and Candidates

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