Clergy and their supporters attend Judicial Council hearings impacting their ministry, observe liturgical acts of witness
Members of the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus (UMQCC) will
be present in Newark, NJ, as the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church
(UMC) hears a number of situations regarding the ordination and ministry of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) clergy and candidates.
The Judicial Council will be thinking about 3 situations that straight influence LGBTQI cler gyand candidates. Two situations concern the legality of the commissioning and ordination of openly LGBTQI clergy in the Northern Illinois (NIC) and New York Annual (NYAC) Conferences, respectively. The third case issues the Western Jurisdiction’s nomination, election, and consecration of Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto as The United Methodist Church’s 1st openly lesbian bishop. On April 25th, the Judicial Council will hold an open hearing to take into account this third case. All other Judicial Council sessions will be closed sessions and not open to the public.
“LGBTQI clergy persons in the end spend the value for the injustices in our church polity,” stated Rev. Alex Souto, “even if, on paper and in law, we are not named as the legal parties in these situations.” Rev. Dr. Israel Alvaran added, “These situations topic our get in touch with to ordained ministry and our sacred worth to The UMC’s discriminatory laws. This spiritual harm need to quit.”
On April 25th, members of the UMQCC and their supporters will be in attendance at the
open hearing of the Judicial Council and will observe a number of liturgical acts of witness.
Members of the UMQCC will collect collectively to pray more than the area ahead of the hearing
starts. At the hearing’s conclusion, the UMQCC will share in a Eucharistic celebration.
An invitation was extended to the members of the Judicial Council, and all these in
attendance are invited to join.
“We collect to bear witness, reminding the Council and the Church that we, as LGBTQI
clergy, are true persons with true households and complete lives,” stated Rev. Lea Matthews. “We are not an ‘issue’ to be managed. These Judicial Council situations are proof of
Church’s unwillingness to accept all as kids of God and, therefore, of its acute spiritual distress.”
All through the week, for the duration of all Judicial Council hearings and deliberations, members
of the UMQCC and their supporters will hold vigil in prayer. These vigils will happen onsite at the Judicial Council hearings, in nearby faith communities, and on the net. On April 28th, members of the UMQCC and their supporters will hold a closing vigil on-website in Newark.
This vigil will close with a different Eucharistic celebration at the finish of the Judicial
“To what are these dockets blind? Blind to God’s presence: in the history our robes
recall, in the prayers of our presence,” stated Rev. Dr. Althea Spencer Miller. “Our
togetherness is beloved neighborhood: loving with the relentlessness of hope. Our
constancy, proof of God’s grace in us. The sum of our moments is the litany of our
hearts. This protest is our sacramental outrage against blindness.”
The United Methodist Queer Caucus, who released a pastoral letter final week in
preparation for the Judicial Council hearings, is coordinating these acts of witness
for the duration of Judicial Council hearings in partnership with Reconciling Ministries Network,
Methodists in New Directions, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Enjoy Your
Neighbor Coalition, Affirmation, Enjoy Prevails, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and nearby congregations.
“These acts of witness are deeply rooted in our Christian faith and our commitment to
The United Methodist Church,” stated Rev. Lois McCullen Parr. “We seek to embody
Jesus’ willingness to transgress standard boundaries to share adore of God and
neighbor, John Wesley’s rule for the persons referred to as Methodists to ‘do no harm,’ and the gospel get in touch with to take up the liberating practice of justice.”
United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus (www.umqcc.org) is created up of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons who are referred to as, commissioned, and
ordained clergy in The United Methodist Church. The Caucus seeks to act in solidarity
with 1 a different and with other individuals who have been marginalized in the church.