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Reconciling: A member’s perspective

 
 

I admire and respect Bishop Talbert for remaining true to his beliefs and performing a marriage ceremony for a gay couple knowing that this violated a ruling in the Book of Discipline.  I also think that he was very forthcoming when he informed the local UMC leadership that he was going to perform this marriage prior to his conducting the ceremony.  Local UMC leadership told him not to perform the ceremony but he followed his conviction that Jesus was all-inclusive and he did what he felt was right.

I also admire the Rocky Mountain District for trying to minimize the impact of this Ruling (an attempt that was later nullified by the Council).  Although these things can be seen as setbacks, I personally see them as steps in the right direction.  I feel that the UMC has been on the wrong path since 1972 when that Rule was adopted.

I think that the controversy/discussion/courage/listening that is happening now is a positive turning point in how we talk about and view the performing of gay/lesbian/transgender marriages by UMC clergy.  By keeping gay/lesbian/transgender rights in the limelight and by listening to Jesus in our hearts, I think that we can change this.  It hasn’t been easy or quick thus far and it won’t be quick or easy in the future (witness Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, and many others who gave their lives or made huge sacrifices in the ongoing fight for end racial segregation).  I have to keep my “eye on the prize” which is an acceptance of GLTQ people as part of the Spirit of God.  We have to keep talking – even if this means arguments and conflicts.  I think that being silent on this issue only serves to deepen the festering and resentment.

We can! Tom Roe

 

 

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