January 6, 2016. Epiphany
The Rev. Bruce R. Ough, Bishop
Minnesota Annual Conference
122 West Franklin Ave, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Dear Bishop Ough,

Greetings to you! I read this morning that my clergy colleague in ministry, Cynthia Meyer of the Great Plains Conference, was called by God to bring her story to light in this time of Epiphany. She came out and told her congregation from the pulpit that she loves and celebrates life together with another woman! No longer can she hide that story. She will likely face a complaint and, depending on the bishop, possible charges that could remove her from her calling and ministry. I want to be her ally, and so, I write to you- not to intercede on her behalf, but to resolve the complaint that is pending against me.

As you told me in person, a complaint against me sits on your desk from more than two years ago, issued at your request by the Minnesota Annual Conference cabinet. You knew from our conversations and from news coverage that I co-officiated at a wedding between two men in the midst of the Reconciling Ministries Convocation in August, 2013.

I understand fully your reluctance to act upon the complaint, and I have been complicit by not pressing the issue with you. However, I request that you take whatever action you believe is needed. The time and the attention the complaint process requires is something neither of us wants, and you have many pressing matters especially as you approach General Conference 2016 as the President-elect of the Council of Bishops. However, the message of Epiphany calls me to join the Rev. Meyer and to seek justice and resolution. Too many colleagues and churches are affected by this great wound in The United Methodist Church.

Thank you for your friendship and your service to the Church. May the light of Epiphany bring joy to your life and give you strength as you look toward general conference and to a new time of leadership.

Grace and peace,
Bruce W. Robbins

Rev. Bruce Robbins

Bruce Robbins is a retired, United Methodist minister living in Minneapolis who served for thirteen years as the UMC's General Secretary for Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns followed by nine years as lead pastor at Hennepin Avenue UMC in downtown Minneapolis.He has a PhD in Church History from Southern Methodist University and is presently studying art in a docent program at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.Bruce also served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Reconciling Ministries Network.

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