The 2012 edition of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church is held by an ordained clergy. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications

UMC Clergy Come Out Before Conference

Just days before the 2016 United Methodist General Conference, 15 clergy and clergy candidates in New York state came out as lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer. The group did so with fear and trembling, but they shared that it has been spiritually suffocating to be in the closet for so long. Over 100 proposals related to LGBT issues in the UMC are up for vote at the conference.

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Why this story matters for church leaders?

Debates and divisions over same sex marriage and LGBT issues are coming for your church if they haven’t already.

  • What does integrity look like? How do we honor the integrity of those who share their stories of same sex orientation and their struggles within the church?
  • What are the solutions available? The debate in the UMC is over the options of being fully affirming, completely traditional, and keeping LGBT issues local decisions. Where do you lean?
  • How will you minister to LGBT people in your church? Whether or not your church is affirming, your leadership needs a plan for welcoming people who experience same sex attraction while sharing your beliefs and policies appropriately.

How will your church speak to this issue throughout the next ten years?

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