The United Methodist Church has dismissed the Rev. Frank Schaefer as punishment for officiating at the wedding of his gay son.
The church’s Council of Bishops is also recommending disciplinary proceedings against retired Bishop Melvin Talbert, who also officiated at a same-sex wedding.
The Coalition’s Leadership Team is inviting UCC members to sign the following open letter. We’ll make sure it reaches the leadership of The United Methodist Church this week. To add your name, please use the “Comment” button below. Please include your title (if appropriate) and name of congregation, and feel free to add your own message. Thank you!
An Open Letter to The United Methodist Church
Dearly beloved in Christ:
The United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns joins with many in our 1,100 Open and Affirming churches in prayer and support for Bishop Melvin Talbert, Pastor Frank Schaefer and Dr. Tom Ogletree of The United Methodist Church.
By standing with the LGBT community, Bishop Talbert, Pastor Schaefer and Dr. Ogletree are taking seriously Paul’s admonition to “welcome each other, in the same way that Christ also welcomed you, for God’s glory.” (Romans 15:7 CEB) Their moral clarity and persistent witness should be honored, not condemned, by a church of “open hearts, open minds, open doors.”
A community lost to the Body of Christ has been restored in congregation after congregation because of courageous leaders like these. Lives have been saved, and churches have been renewed. We stand with them today, and respectfully ask the leaders of The United Methodist Church to allow them to continue their ministry unhindered by further punishment or threats of punishment.
May all of us, following Jesus Christ, continue to grow in love until finally “perfect love” governs our “heart and life, running through all our tempers, words, and actions.” (John Wesley).