Wednesday, November 7, 2012

To UMC pastors in Maryland and Maine

Dear Colleagues:

Almost three years ago I sat where you are sitting this morning. I realized that same-gender marriage would be legal where I minister in a few months and I was on the horns of a dilemma.

I wanted to be a good faithful United Methodist pastor. At the same time, this seemed to me to mean that I provide pastoral care to all of my people.

Here's what I can tell you: When same-gender marriage became legal it changed everything.

Before marriage became legal, we held services to honor gay and lesbian committed relationships which were not weddings. It was easy to sidestep the issue.

When marriage became legal, evasion was no longer possible.

Fortunately, I have a prayerful and thoughtful congregation. The entire congregation entered into a period of prayer and discernment and then held a Church Conference. You can read about our process of discernment here

I just want you to know that I've sat where you are sitting this morning. I know you are good pastors who want to minister well and faithfully to the people of your congregation and community. I know it is hard to figure out what to do.

You are in my prayers.


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