The Spirit of God is Moving

For Immediate Release, Tuesday May 31, 2011

By Affirmation: United Methodists Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

United Methodists celebrate the day in May, over two hundred years ago when John Wesley's “heart was strangely warmed” and he experienced the power of God's Spirit in his life. This event led the Rev. Wesley to found what is now The United Methodist Church. As we approach the anniversary of that momentous event, Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns celebrates how this May, the Spirit of God has warmed the hearts of the members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and of the national legislative body in Uganda.

In the summer of 2010, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) removed the restrictions on Gay and Lesbian persons being ordained by and appointed to local churches. This was contingent on a majority of the local presbyteries confirming the legislation. This has now occurred. The Holy Spirit has led a majority of the presbyteries to approve that local congregations may now ordain and call any qualified persons as their pastors. No longer will the Church exclude some people because of their same gender sexual orientation.

Meanwhile, for two years Uganda’s parliament has been debating legislation that would establish very strict penalties on any person who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; or on anyone who knows such a person and does not report them to the authorities. This has become widely known as the “Kill the Gays” bill. The legislature has now recessed for the season without passing this legislation, in spite of some recent movement towards passing it. Once again, God's Holy Spirit has moved across the land to spare God's children from potential persecution. Unfortunately, the legislators did not defeat the hate-filled bill, they only tabled it. However, we are grateful for this action.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns celebrates these recent actions of God's Spirit moving through human hearts, minds, and actions. We look toward the day when the delegates of a General Conference of The United Methodist Church will allow the Spirit of God to warm their hearts and remove the proscriptions against all qualified persons called and appointed to service its members and in its congregations. We look toward that day when The United Methodist Church will join the Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, and others in fully welcoming its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.


As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people, Affirmation: United Methodists 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: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

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