August 26, 1998


Letter to The Washington Blade

Dumbarton United Methodist Church

3133 Dumbarton Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007

Dear Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans friends and your families:

You have heard and continue to hear loud, conservative voices in the religious community saying things that are hurtful, condemning and excluding of you and the persons you love. We want to make sure you know that there are many church congregations that do not agree with those voices.

We echo both the activists who have recognized that "Silence equals Death" and the prophet who cries "For Zion's sake I will not keep silent . . ." (Is. 62:1a). We are a Christian congregation that welcomes lesbian, gay, bi, and trans persons and their families in the full life of our community. We feel compelled to speak out with a voice of love and welcome to counter the national media attention on "ex-gay ministries" and the events of the last few months in our United Methodist denomination.

Know that you are welcomed in United Methodist churches that have chosen to call themselves Reconciling Congregations. Reconciling Congregations are part of a strong and growing network of Welcoming churches in denominations including: American Baptists, Disciples, Brethren-Mennonites, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, United Methodists and Unitarian Universalists.

Know that we are ashamed of and ask forgiveness for the actions of our denomination, our bishops and our Judicial Council when they exclude you from the full ministry of our church. It is our desire to continue to educate, advocate and legislate in our denomination for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, and trans persons and their families in the life and ministry of the church. We hear the voice of God announcing "Behold, I will do a new thing!" (Isaiah 42:9) in The United Methodist Church -- and we invite you to join us in working toward the full acceptance and welcome of all people in the church.

The Rev. Mary E. Kraus,

Mr. Michael Beard,
Co-Chair of Administrative Council

The Rev. Kathryn Johnson,
Co-Chair of Administrative Council

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