Last week, in a special session of the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, delegates voted to reinforce the denomination’s bans on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ+ clergy. The decision lays bare a deep division that is present in many of our own congregations around sexuality and gender identity, the role of scripture, and what it means to be people of faith in today’s world. This major rift will undoubtedly have ripples for generations to come, and we acknowledge that there is tremendous heartache and pain.
Many people who are currently serving in ministry or preparing for ministry are now unsure about what is next for them, and members are wondering whether there is a place for them in the church. We mourn with our United Methodist kindred who are in the midst of this heartbreak and struggle. We see you and we are with you in spirit.
If you attended our Freedom Summer Training last summer, you may recall that some members spoke passionately about the ways that LGBTQ+ people––just like our immigrant, formerly incarcerated, and poor community members––face intense discrimination in areas such as housing and employment, preventing them from living full and abundant lives. Furthermore, hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people, alongside other forms of hate crimes, continue to be on the rise.
As the Faith in Texas Clergy Steering Committee, we affirm that every human being is created in the image of God––people of every gender and sexual orientation and race and background. There are no second-class citizens, each and every one of us is loved by God. God created all of us in a mosaic of diversity and it is in that diversity that we are most beautiful.
Faith in Texas includes members and congregations who are LGBTQ+ affirming as well as those who are not. We remain committed to leading the conversation and working together to improve all our communities by honoring the image of God in each and every person. We must find a way forward together to build a just world where all people may experience dignity and care.
The Faith in Texas Clergy Steering Committee