Statement on the âtrialâ of United Methodist Churchâs first openly-lesbian bishop Karen Oliveto
Washington DC, April 25, 2017 â The United Methodist Churchâs first openly LGBTQ bishop Karen Oliveto is being tried by the churchâs highest court for who she is and loves. Oliveto oversees four states in her capacity as a bishop.
âThis is an outrageous and immoral attack on a senior faith leader â simply because she is an out and proud married lesbian. This has a chilling effect on United Methodist Church clergy and parishioners alike. To paraphrase Bishop Oliveto, she is not the first LGBTQ clergy and she won’t be the last. Faith should never be used to punish and silence people. On the contrary, faith calls us to be authentically ourselves â as we have seen with the inspirational leadership of Bishop Karen. Faith is liberating. We urge the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church to respect her election and the will of the spirit and the peopleâ and build on this historic opportunity to be more loving, welcoming and affirming of LGBTQ people,â said Pastor Naomi Washington-Leapheart, the Task Forceâs Faith Work Director.
The National LGBTQ Task Forceâs faith organizing work provides fellowship, inspiration, skills, capacity building and concrete strategies to explore how faith and the practice of radical welcome can build grassroots power. The organization is determined to shift the phony narrative that says there are no LGBTQ people of faith and no people of faith who welcome LGBTQ people.
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