God’s Love Extends to ALL

United Methodist Young Clergywomen Boldly Proclaim that God’s Love Extends to ALL

The Young Clergywomen Collective wrote a response to the Judicial Council decisions about the consecration of Bishop Karen Oliveto. Read more about the decision here

As the United Methodist Young Clergywomen’s Collective, an ad hoc group of licensed, commissioned, and ordained United Methodist clergywomen under the age of 40, we believe in the United Methodist mission statement “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” We fiercely hold to Jesus’ teaching that nothing is more essential to our call than loving God and loving our neighbors. We detest the current denominational trend of excluding the LGBTQIA+ community. This discrimination does irreparable harm to those among us who are LGBTQIA+ and significantly impairs our mission to make disciples who transform the world.

This week, millions of people read about The United Methodist Church in national newspapers, denominational publications, and on social media and saw no love for the LGBTQIA+ community. Instead, they saw a denomination falling short of meeting Jesus’ commandment that we love one another. As a church, we are failing to meet the US’s basic non-discrimination laws. The United Methodist Young Clergywoman’s Collective believes that all people are children of God, beloved and with sacred worth. The Judicial Council’s most recent decision neither made disciples nor transformed the world into a better place; in fact, it has made it harder for us to do so.

We are deeply concerned. The United Methodist witness to the LGBTQIA+ community has long been one of exclusion and exile. The United Methodist response to allies of the LGBTQIA+ community has been one of suppression. The United Methodist witness to the world has become one of discrimination. Further, when we stand up to speak out against this witness, or even if we are deeply grieved over this witness, we are encouraged by some church leaders to leave The United Methodist Church. The words of such leaders have again emphasized discrimination as a part of the path of discipleship. While we recognize that these leaders are seeking to be faithful to their interpretation of Scripture, we cannot fathom a gospel in which exclusion is compulsory.

Central to our Wesleyan tradition is the understanding that sanctification is not a moment but a process, a growing and maturing in the Spirit. We recommit ourselves to this process of discipleship. This may mean that some of us will conclude that we must be disobedient to the Book of Discipline and this decision of the Judicial Council.

John Wesley himself was a practical theologian and preacher. He did not consider his movement a separation from the church but rather a call to holiness and a purification of the institution. Wesley’s concern was not strict adherence to the rules; his mission was to make disciples of Jesus Christ. In fact, were it not for the “unlawful” ordination and consecration of pastors and bishops, there would be no “people called Methodist,” as the first Methodist Episcopal Church pastors and bishops were ordained and consecrated “unlawfully.”

We know that Jesus Christ himself broke rules and reinterpreted tradition in ways that drew the circle of blessing wider than the religious and political authorities of the time wanted it to be. The very essence of the birth, life, and death of Jesus the Christ is a breaking-open of understandings of the scarcity of grace, unleashing God’s boundless, expansive love, inviting all people – without qualification – into discipleship.

The United Methodist Young Clergywomen’s Collective rejects the institutional United Methodist Church’s witness of discrimination. We boldly proclaim that God’s love extends to all people. The mission of our United Methodist Church and the church universal will continue to be tarnished and damaged until all are welcomed into full inclusion in the life of the Church, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. We now call our colleagues to join us in discerning what bold actions we may need to take to draw the circle of belonging ever wider, following in the footsteps of Jesus, the One in whom all are welcome, all are seen, and ALL are beloved.

Signed by:
Rev. Sharon L. S. Cook, Wisconsin Annual Conference
Rev. Shannon Sullivan, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
Rev. Roslyn Lee, New York Annual Conference
Rev. Bonnie McCubbin, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
Rev. Corey Turnpenny, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. Lorrin Radzik, West Ohio Annual Conference
Rev. Janessa Chastain, Desert Southwest Annual Conference
Rev. Colleen Hallagan Preuninger, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. Danyelle Ditmer, Indiana Annual Conference
Rev. Adrienne Trevathan, Northern Illinois Annual Conference
Rev. Catherine Christman, West Michigan Annual Conference
Rev. Krista Paradiso, Northern Illinois Annual Conference
Rev. Kris Krause Androsky, Wisconsin Annual Conference
Rev. Kelly J Smith, Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference
Rev. Katie Z. Dawson, Iowa Annual Conference
Rev. Diane Kenaston, West Virginia Annual Conference
Rev. Karen Hernandez, Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
Rev. Angela Flanagan, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
Rev. Julia Singleton, Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference
Rev. Sara E. Baron, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. AJ Bush, Rocky Mountain Annual Conference
Rev. Sarah Beck, Rocky Mountain Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Christina Wright, West Michigan Annual Conference
Rev. Sadie Stone, California-Nevada Annual Conference
Rev. Julia Nielsen, Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
Rev. Megan Stowe, New England Annual Conference
Rebekah Solar, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Emily Peck-McClain, New York Annual Conference
Rev. Lea A. Matthews, New York Annual Conference
Rev. Allie Scott, Wisconsin Annual Conference
Rev. Kaleigh Corbett, Greater New Jersey Annual Conference
Rev. Anna Guillozet, West Ohio Annual Conference
Rev. Richelle Goff, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. Gabrielle Martone, Greater New Jersey Annual Conference
Rev. Becca Girrell, New England Annual Conference
Rev. Melissa Cooper, Florida Annual Conference
Rev. J. Paige Boyer, East Ohio Annual Conference
Rev. Melissa Meyers, Northern Illinois Annual Conference
Rev. Jeana Martin, Rio Texas Annual Conference
Rev. Melanie Ollett, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev Chelsey D. Hillyer, Missouri Annual Conference
Rev. Kimberly Ferrel, Upper New York Annual Conference
Lynnette Cole, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. Melissa A Rynders, Desert Southwest Annual Conference
Rev. Lizzie Weed, Wisconsin Annual Conference
Rev. Emily Kintzel, Rocky Mountain Conference
Rev. Debbie Sperry, Cal-Pac serving in Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan, Northern Illinois Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Quick, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. Misty Howick, Desert Southwest Annual Conference
Rev. Kerry Greenhill, New England Annual Conference
Rev. Melissa Engel, Rocky Mountain Annual Conference
Pastor Hannah Loughman, Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference
Rev. Jamie Michaels, California-Nevada Annual Conference
Rev. Sarai Case, Desert Southwest Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz, New York Annual Conference
Rev. Elizabeth Ingram Schindler, Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
Pastor Nicole Anderson, Dakotas Annual Conference
Rev. Anjie Woodworth, North Georgia Annual Conference
Rev. Janelle Kurtz, East Ohio Annual Conference
Rev. Sara McManus, Dakotas Annual Conference
Rev. Blair B. Setnor, North Georgia Annual Conference
Rev. Katy Shedlock, Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
Rev. Rebecca L. Laird, Upper New York Annual Conference
Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
Rev. Emily Berkowitz, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference
Rev. Carly Wicklund, South Carolina Annual Conference
Reverend Adrienne Fink, South Carolina Annual Conference
Reverend Katie Klosterman, Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
Rev. Elizabeth Murray, South Carolina Annual Conference
Rev. Carol Hill, Northern Illinois Conference
Rev. Tiffany Patterson, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference

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