After 44 years of official policies and practices discriminating against LGBTQ persons and our allies, The United Methodist Church continues to do harm through the judicial process when complaints are filed against those who are deemed “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” and/or those who are practicing ministry with all.
As we have seen most recently in the case of Rev. Cynthia Meyer, a trial averted by way of a “just resolution.” While the basis of the just resolution process and overall attempts to avoid a trial are rooted in applaudable Christian values, within a context of legalized discrimination, just resolutions are very, if ever, actually “just.” Like Rev. Meyer, LGBTQ people and our allies are often coerced into involuntary suspension, economic hardship, and/or having to sacrifice one’s integrity by expressing regret for their faithful and loving ministries. These resolutions rarely, if ever, hold the needs of the most vulnerable in the church – the LGBTQ community – at par with the other parties.
Rev. Anna Blaedel in the Iowa conference is in the midst of an ongoing complaint process after three men scribbled a complaint against her onto a napkin earlier this summer. Rev. Blaedel recently shared on Facebook what they believe would be an actual “just” resolution in the current context of discrimination. We invite you to submit your own dreamings of alternative possibilities for just resolutions to be shared on the blog by emailing RMN’s communication associate, Nelson Mendoza, at firstname.lastname@example.org or posting on social media with the hashtag #JustResUMC.
Read Rev. Blaedel’s dream for an actual just resolution below:
“I want all the United Methodist Bishops to be placed on involuntary leave of absence and have their pay suspended until they propose and implement their “way forward,” and I want their salaries to be divided between people and organizations working directly with and for queer liberation, particularly queer and trans youth of color experiencing the most endemic violence and precarity and harm, and Rev. Cynthia S. Meyer and all the queer clergy who are losing their livelihoods (myself possibly included), and all the queer people doing the most amazing ministry without ordination credentials because of this homophobic misogynist ridiculousness. And, I want fully funded campus ministry. And, for the Council of Bishops and every District Superintendent who has ever been part of bringing a complaint against any LGBTQ person (or against a cis straight person doing ministry with/for LGBTQ people) to write personal letters of apology to every LGBTQ who is currently or has been United Methodist.”
What does faithful justice rooted in integrity and the gospel look like to you?
Let us know.