The Season of Pride

For Immediate Release, Wednesday August 12, 2009

By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns celebrates the recent decisions by the Episcopal Church to allow for the ordination of openly lesbian and gay clergy persons as bishops, and to encourage bishops to “provide generous pastoral response” to same-sex couples being legally married. We join with our brothers and sisters in Integrity in observing this momentous occasion. Since 1974, Integrity has been a faithful witness of God's inclusive love to the Episcopal Church and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. They are working for the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments.

Those voting at the General Convention in Anaheim, CA, wisely and courageously chose to follow their faith in God's love and Christ’s example of acceptance, rather than seeking to impose unity on the Anglican Communion based on a perception of scripture more akin to the Pharisees than Christ. These decisions are indeed praiseworthy and one more step to being more faithful followers of God's Spirit.

As United Methodists, we follow in the footsteps of John Wesley, and claim the Anglican faith as part of our spiritual ancestry. Our Episcopalian sisters and brothers have shown us the direction which we as United Methodists must also go. They have made an important and faithful step in the direction of living God's love both in our individual lives and in our denomination. Affirmation prays and works for the day when United Methodists will join with our Episcopalian family in acknowledging that God's call to ordained service is not limited to heterosexual persons only, nor are only heterosexual relationships acknowledged, honored, and blessed.

This church season of Pentecost is also a season of Pride. In 1969, our queer ancestors rebelled at the Stonewall Inn and marked a change in their own and in society's understanding of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer persons. As we commemorate this fortieth year, we acknowledge the number of wonderful accomplishments as well as the disappointing set-backs politically. Yet each year brings an increased amount of growth and accomplishment. The decisions made at this time by the Episcopal Church are a wonderful addition to this special season of Pride.

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As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church as we journey with the Spirit in creating God’s beloved community.

Affirmation is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

How to Contact Us: email: umaffirmation@... Affirmation web: http://www.umaffirm.org