The United Methodist News Service reports on an openly gay candidate for Bishop in the Western Jurisdiction.
Standing before an assembly that would elect two bishops, the Rev. Frank Wulf shared his problem as a candidate for one of the top clergy positions in The United Methodist Church.
"The problem is that I come as a gay man, and I know where our church stands on the issue of same-sex orientation," Wulf said in his candidacy address before the Western Jurisdictional Conference, which represents United Methodists in the western United States, Guam and other U.S. territories in the Pacific.
The delegates, who later approved four statements challenging the denomination’s position on homosexuality, listened intently as Wulf continued: "And I know that the church says … a practicing self-avowed homosexual shall not be ordained or appointed within our church."
By extension, Wulf noted that his candidacy created a quandary for jurisdictional delegates in a denomination that consistently has declared homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching."
"I know that if, by some chance, I were ever to be elected as a bishop within this jurisdiction or any jurisdiction, that all hell would break loose …," he said, explaining later that he would anticipate church judicial charges, threats and hate mail.