Rev. Cynthia Meyer, pastor for Edgerton United Methodist Church in Edgerton, Kansas and the former Assistant Dean of Students for the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, came out to her congregation yesterday during Sunday worship service. Meyer’s announcement comes after 25 years of leadership in The United Methodist Church (The UMC) and what she refers to as “many years of distress.” The UMC currently does not allow LGBTQ clergy or same-sex marriage.

“It’s well past time for the denomination to change, and it’s my time to speak out as a part of that change coming to fruition,” Meyer said. “It’s soul-crushing to speak to my congregation each week about God’s love for them as they are, while being unable to speak of my own God-given identity, my loving relationship, and much of my day-to-day life. I do this not only for myself, but for my partner, for my daughter, for all those who are excluded and for the good of the church.”

In May 2016, the acceptance of LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage are once again up for debate as the policy-making body of The UMC determines the rules of the denomination for the next four years at its General Conference. Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) has launched the “It’s Time” campaign to enable supporters and allies to reach their delegates directly by sharing their stories and urging the General Conference to reverse The UMC’s discriminatory treatment of its LGBTQ ministers and congregants.

“We are so proud of Cynthia, who has influenced so many of us who studied with her in the seminary.  Her brave decision to live her truth will reverberate beyond her church and touch many Methodists who have long admired her gifts to the UMC,” said RMN Executive Director Matt Berryman, who studied with Meyer at Candler School of Theology. “While the Supreme Court has made marriage equality the law of the land, it is still not an option for all people of faith, nor is it possible for LGBTQ persons to serve authentically and openly as ordained clergy. We hope Cynthia’s story inspires others to join us in bringing justice to our church.”

RMN is also partnering with the documentary filmmakers behind “An Act of Love,” hosting more than 50 screenings across the country at many of the 700 communities and churches that make up the Reconciling Ministries Network. “An Act of Love,” which premiered at several film festivals, tells the story of Rev. Frank Schaefer’s religious trials for officiating his son’s same-sex marriage. Dates and locations, as well as information about how to host screenings, are listed here.

For more information about RMN’s work, visit rmnetwork.org.

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