The Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church) has issued a “Statement of Gospel Obedience” that emphasizes Christ’s grace and love is available to all and that The United Methodist Church is in error on the subject of “homosexuality’s incompatibility with Christian teaching.”
Delegates to the jurisdictional meeting July 18-21 voted to extend “extravagant hospitality” to all people including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or persons whose gender expression is ambiguous.
Retired Bishop Melvin Talbert was asked to oversee a Western Jurisdiction grassroots movement that challenges bishops, clergy, laity and local churches and ministry settings to operate as if the statement printed in the denomination’s law book—Paragraph 161F—“does not exist.”
Talbert said he has publicly stated many times that if asked to perform a same-sex marriage he will do so. He also said the active bishops of the Western Jurisdiction “will be bishops of the church” and uphold church law.
Bishop Minerva Carcaño, president of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops, said the bishops “are of one mind” during her address to the jurisdiction.
“We believe that our beloved United Methodist Church has been less than faithful to the biblical mandate to accept all God’s children including our LGBTQ(IA) brothers and sisters. We assume responsibility for preaching and teaching in every place we serve, this good news of Christ Jesus who welcomes all,” she said.
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council of Bishops, noted that she does not want to comment on decisions of conferences. “I trust in the process of holy conferencing, and I trust that my colleague bishops will act according to their call to serve the church as bishops of the church in the task of oversight for the general church and for the areas they are assigned to,” she said. The council does not have supervisory authority over the bishops.
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