“The agreement reached places me on involuntary leave for an indeterminate time, with an uncertain outcome. I see this as unjust and unnecessary. Yet, because of my love for The United Methodist Church and my faith and hope that justice will come, I have agreed to it.” – Rev. Cynthia Meyer
Today’s news of the “just resolution” to resolve the complaint filed against Rev. Cynthia Meyer earlier this year is one is one both heartbreak and hope.
Over the last two months, the church has seen a groundswell of Biblical Obedience as Annual Conferences ordained #CalledOUT clergy, passed resolutions of non-conformity, and The UMC elected its first openly lesbian Bishop. These actions are clear indicators that United Methodist clergy and lay people alike are leading the denomination in the direction of full inclusion of its LGBTQ members. We join Rev. Cynthia Meyer in believing that justice will come and we honor the faith and hope she has exhibited throughout this entire process by offering herself in full authenticity to the church she loves.
As the commission on A Way Forward is assembled this fall, the harm done to Rev. Cynthia Meyer and all queer, trans, and allied United Methodists over the last 44 years will be hovering over every conversation and decision, awaiting accountability. From Gene Leggett in 1971, to Beth Stroud in 2005, to Rev. Cynthia Meyer today, the church has veered from its gospel mission by using a book meant to outline our common purpose as a tool of destruction in the lives of LGBTQ people. The Spirit has been working on the wayward United Methodist Church by awakening more and more individuals and communities to the expansive love of God, but this has come with great cost, especially to individuals like Rev. Meyer.
There is no doubt that the resolution released today is anything but just. Until the anti-LGBTQ policies of the Book of Discipline are removed, the onus will unjustly remain on queer people and our allies to bear the burden of an institution weighted against the full participation of LGBTQ people in the life of the church. And yet, the departure from an expected trial is just one of many signs pointing towards change that is well overdue.
To use the words of Rev. Meyer herself, “the denomination is now in a liminal moment.” We look to the work of the commission and to the ongoing actions of Biblical Obedience by United Methodists across the connection, to follow the lead of the Spirit so clearly drawing us into a future where discrimination is no longer attributed to God or the church.
The courage, faith, and sacrifice of those like Rev. Cynthia Meyer call upon all of us to move forward in hope and with action. The only future for The United Methodist Church is one rooted in justice, grace, and the full participation of the entire body of Christ. We owe it to all who have suffered the costs of discrimination to make it so.
Read the full details of the resolution here.
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