In 2014, Ben Weger and Jeremy Hearn co-led the musical worship for the Florida Annual Conference. At the conclusion of the conference, Bishop Ken Carter invited Jeremy and Ben to return and lead worship again separately in 2016 and 2017. Jeremy Hearn is currently leading worship for the 2016 Florida Annual Conference. Ben has yet to receive confirmation or follow-up in regards to participation for 2017.
The Youth from Florida Annual Conference share their prophetic voice of God’s Reconciling love in relation to Ben Weger’s story. Their statement is below:
As the youth of the church, and on behalf of all of God’s children, we would like to request a re-affirmation of Ben Weger as a worship leader, and request that he be offered the opportunity to have a position of leadership in worship at Annual Conference in 2017. As he is a transgender person, this gesture will demonstrate the unity of the United Methodist Church throughout our difficult decisions, even when conflicting views attempt to divide us. This Annual Conference has been privileged to be led in worship by Ben in past years, and his gift and ability to convey the Holy Spirit through music has inspired souls across generations. It is imperative that the Conference leadership continues to act upon their goal of unity in the church as a living body by re-affirming Ben Weger as a worship leader appointed by God and offering him a role within the 2017 Annual Conference of the Florida United Methodist Church. The intent of this request is to further discussion not only now, but also at a later time, and to come to a well considered decision. Let us remember Bishop Carter’s request to clergy members from earlier this week, to “discover creative, pastoral, and grace-filled ways to bear witness to all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. Together we are all Gods beloved children.”