In an act of prophetic courage, the bishops of the Western Jurisdiction pledge to protect LGBTQ and allied clergy. “We intend to exercise our authority as bishops of The United Methodist Church,” they write in their Safe Harbor Declaration, “to encourage and protect the full participation of LGBTQ+ persons as beloved children of God, embraced in God’s reign of grace.”
Bishops Minerva G. Carcaño, Grant Hagiya, Robert T. Hoshibata, Karen P. Oliveto, and Elaine J.W. Stanovsky pledge their commitment to accept qualified LGBTQ+ persons as clergy and candidates for ministry and their refusal to harm or exclude LGBTQ persons or to punish clergy who celebrate the marriage of two adults of any gender or sexual orientation. The five bishops urge their episcopal colleagues, and all clergy and laity, to join them.
At Reconciling Ministries Network, we wholeheartedly support the Western Jurisdiction bishops’ commitment, and we urge Reconciling United Methodists to sign on to the declaration in solidarity.
As the January 1 implementation date of the anti-LGBTQ Traditionalist Plan draws near, to be the Church and to counteract systematized discrimination will require continued courage and resistance. Joining the bishops of the Western Jurisdiction today in their Safe Harbor Declaration is one such act of resistance.