The United Church of Christ national officers have sent a letter of support to ecumenical partners convening in the Pacific Northwest. The top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church, General Conference is gathered at the Oregon Convention Center, from May 10-20, 2016.
Here is the text of that letter:
An Open Letter to Our Brothers and Sisters in The United Methodist Church
As colleagues in faith and as companions on the journey to heed God’s Call, we the national officers of the United Church of Christ are praying with you as you gather in Portland for General Conference to discern God’s intention for a Beloved Community where all are welcome.
We stand with those faithful LGBT clergy who dare to honor God by unashamedly declaring, as scripture affirms, all of human creation to be “very good” and who unapologetically seek to serve the church with all the gifts and graces of their whole selves.
We hold in loving care the courageous clergy and lay gathering to commit to the sacred work of dismantling religious traditions that threaten our unity as one body.
Thanks be to God for the testimonies, present in both texts and time, reminding us of our past struggles to see and hear God clearly.
We witness in biblical stories, conversations that reflect the challenge of the early church to embrace the inclusiveness of Gentiles.
We witness, through the history of race and the church, a complex journey toward understanding the imago dei imbued in varying hues.
It has only been during the 20th century that preaching women were affirmed through ordination in many denominations. What seemed to be a theological impasse has now been overcome not only with ordination, but, within several denominations including the United Methodist Church, we have lived to witness women elevated to the Episcopacy.
Indeed, this Call to faithfulness in the church requires us to listen deeply and rest in the assurance of that great cloud of witnesses to the ever-present power of the Spirit that stretches us to new depths of understanding when we dare to believe.
We stand and pray with you all, in great anticipation of the still speaking God who has accompanied us on this journey so many times before. And we trust that the Spirit will once again move upon the church that we may all be one.
In Faith & Love,
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ
Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President
Rev. James Moos, Executive Minister of Wider Church Ministries
Rev. Traci Blackmon, Acting Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries