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With strength, love, and wisdom, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is a model for Episcopal leadership in The United Methodist Church. In fulfillment of her calling as a bishop, she demonstrates, yet again, what prophetic leadership looks like for the whole church around the world. The word she shares and the call to action she announces is a wake-up call for all United Methodists. On behalf of the network of persons, communities, and churches who are committed to the work of justice and inclusion of LGBTQ persons in The UMC, we affirm and celebrate her leadership and her vocation as a friend of the oppressed, the afflicted, and those in need. Along with her, we beseech United Methodist bishops everywhere to use their privilege and raise the prophetic voice on behalf of LGBTQ persons who continue to be subjected to state-sanctioned sin and violence. Let us pray for our LGBTQ sisters, brothers, and others both in Africa and around the world.

Grace and Peace,  Matt Berryman
RMN Executive Director
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Bishop Carcaño: Raise your voices against hatred and violence

A Letter to the Active and Retired United Methodist Bishops of Africa

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February 24, 2014

Benjamin Boni – John Innis – Eben Nhiwatiwa – Daniel Wandabula
Emilio De Carvalho – Kainda Katembo – Nkulu N. Ntambo
John K. Yambasu – Gaspar Joao Domingos – Arthur F. Kulah
Fama Orema – David K. Yemba – Moisés D. Fernandes
Joao S. Machado – José Quipungo – John W. Yohana
Joseph Humper – Joaquina F. Nhanala – Gabriel Y. Unda

Grace and peace to you in the name of Christ Jesus.  In 2012 you and I began a conversation about homosexuality.  This morning as I prayed I felt convicted to write to you and continue that conversation.  With a heavy heart I have been tracking what is happening in Uganda.   This nation state has legalized discrimination against homosexuals; a severe discrimination that gives wings to hatred and violence against these who are also children of God.  What is happening in Uganda will spread throughout the continent of Africa and beyond if it is left unchallenged. 

I have heard some of you say that homosexuality is a U.S. issue and not an African issue.  I disagree, for as I have traveled to some of the places in Africa where you lead our United Methodist work, I have met your homosexual children and your homosexual brothers and sisters and mine.  They have shared with me how they live in constant fear because of their sexual orientation.   These are not strangers.  They are members of our United Methodist family, devoted to Christ Jesus with the same heart and passion that you and I share.  Church membership, however, should not be a requirement for our concern and care.  Men and women and young people and their families are suffering and being forced into repressive webs of deadly coercion against each other because of sexual identity.  We must not stand by without denouncing this evil and injustice. 

You and I disagree about homosexuality but I beseech you to consider that discrimination and violence against persons because of their sexual orientation cannot be justified under our Christian faith.  Jesus consistently went to the margins of society to minister to and redeem those whom society considered unclean and unworthy of God’s grace.   As servants of Christ Jesus we can do no less.      

I beg you to act in behalf of those whom Jesus also considers his beloved.  I do not ask you to stand in support of homosexuality.  I ask you to raise your voices against hatred and violence.  At my end I pledge to do all I can to challenge U.S. forces that contribute to the fomenting of this hatred and violence in Africa.     

I write to you not as one who has any authority over you, for I do not.  I pray that you will receive these words as those of a sister in the faith who strives with you to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Please know that you are in my prayers as you lead God’s people. 

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño 

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Mobilizing United Methodists of all sexual orientations and gender identities to transform our Church and world into the full expression of Christ’s inclusive love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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