Resolution in Acknowledgement of Harm to LGBTQ+ Persons

Resolution in Acknowledgement of Harm to LGBTQ+ Persons

June 5, 2022
Signatures: 126Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Rachel Baughman

Resolution in Acknowledgement of Harm to LGBTQ+ Persons

From: Rev. Rachel Baughman, Clergy Member, Oak Lawn UMC

WHEREAS, The conference Board of Ordained Ministry has reported and stated:

“While, currently, the Book of Discipline affirms [the] response [of LBTQ+ persons] to God’s call, it simultaneously prohibits them from the blessings of marriage that we celebrate for heterosexual candidates (¶304.3);

“As a diverse Conference serving a diverse mission field, this restriction not only hampers our witness, but also functions as a double standard for LGBTQ+ persons called to ordained ministry;

“‘[S]elf-avowed practicing homosexuals’ (¶304.3) should not be excluded from certification, ordination, or appointment, provided that they are otherwise qualified by the rigorous standards required by The Book of Discipline and the NTC in the areas of theology and doctrine, worship and proclamation, and call, service and disciplined life;

“In the context of the process of consultation, congregations should not be expected to compromise their theological convictions when receiving appointed pastors;”

WHEREAS, The Book of Discipline (¶162.J) states “Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are commit- ted to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regard- less of sexual orientation;” 

WHEREAS, The United Methodist Church, as an extension of our historic work to advance fair labor practices, “supports the conventions of the International Labor Organizations that advance . . . the elimination of discrimination in respect to employment and occupation” (Book of Resolutions 2016, 4135.III.1);

WHEREAS, Isabel Marquez and Ryan Wager have been denied appointment as a Licensed Local Pastors despite the following facts:

a.       The North Texas Annual Conference (“NTC”) has recognized Isabel Marquez as the plant pastor for Gracia Viva, a new congregation of primarily LGBTQ+ Latina and LatinX persons in Dallas, under the umbrella of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church (“Oak Lawn UMC”);

b.       Isabel Marquez has demonstrated consistent gifts for welcoming the immigrant, refugee, stranger, widow, orphan and unsheltered neighbor in ways that inspire her congregation and United Methodists across the denomination;

c.       Ryan Wager, as a Certified Lay Minister, Lay Leader, and Oak Lawn UMC staff member, has demonstrated consistent gifts for hospitality, pastoral care, community leadership, ministry with unsheltered neighbors, and coordinating work across religious and non-religious entities to care for their needs in ways that inspire his congregation and United Methodists across the denomination;

d.       Ryan Wager’s and Isabel Marquez’s calls to ministry have been affirmed by Oak Lawn UMC’s Staff-Parish Relations Committee and Charge Conference;

e.       They have been recommended for licensing by the Metro District Committee on Ordained Ministry and the NTC Board of Ordained Ministry;

f.        They have fulfilled all necessary requirements for licensing including Licensing School;

g.       They received overwhelming approval by the clergy of the NTC;

h.       The NTC—acting through its agencies and clergy session—have approved Ryan and Isabel for appointment and licensure;

i.        Oak Lawn UMC has stated its desire to accept Ryan and Isabel’s appointment as a Licensed Local Pastors to Oak Lawn UMC and the Gracia Viva community; 

WHEREAS, Isabel Marquez, Ryan Wager, Oak Lawn UMC, and the NTC have received no explanation as to why Isabel and Ryan did not receive appointments;

WHEREAS, The NTC has witnessed consistent acts of discrimination against queer persons called to ordained and licensed ministry, including Gene Leggit, Rev. Mike House, Anne Cubbage, Tim Tyner, Rev. Gregory Allen Smith, Isabel Marquez, and Ryan Wager;

WHEREAS, The NTC has witnessed many local churches, including Oak Lawn UMC, endure a long list of complaints against their pastors for performing same gender weddings, despite their charge to care for the spiritual well-being of their communities, including those with  long-standing identities as a places of refuge to LGBTQ+ persons;

WHEREAS, Confession is a communal spiritual discipline in which we bear the burden of one another’s sins in the bright hope that together we might journey towards perfection in love;

WHEREAS, We cannot confess and repent of a sin until we name it; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the North Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church confess its discriminatory and unjust practices against Isabel Marquez, Ryan Wager, Rev. Gregory Allen Smith, Rev. Mike House, Anne Cubbage, Tim Tyner, and Gene Leggitt in particular while also confessing discrimination against queer persons in general; and

Resolved, That every member of the North Texas Annual Conference offer  acts of confession and repentance to those who have been harmed by the discriminatory practices of the United Methodist Church in general and North Texas Annual Conference in particular, including the above mentioned persons and all queer persons whom the United Methodist Church has denied, in part or in full,  the fundamental human experiences of sanctuary, healing, marriage, and vocational fulfillment in Union with the Church, which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has opened to people of all nations, ages and races.

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Signatures: 126Next Goal: 200
Support now