A Reaction to the Council of Bishops’ Human Sexuality Statement

Excerpt from: A Call to Inertia?

Writer: Mary Pratt

RMNblog, November 10, 2014

An excerpt of Ms. Pratt’s response to the recent statement from the Council of Bishops concerning human sexuality.

…And my heart broke, too.

I do pray for the bishops and The United Methodist Church. And I pray for the people the church hurts, for the children who more and more will walk away from the community of church because the church so clearly chooses to guard the faith and exercise the Discipline of the church rather than to exercise the divinely human privilege of loving its neighbor.

I find it unsettling that the opening sentence of this statement appears to say that the hearts of the bishops are broken more by the church’s division—the inability to be of one mind about human sexuality—than by the fact that some of God’s children are still not welcome at the table.

I find it unsettling that the bishops are praying, apparently so long and so earnestly, for discernment about how to treat the people of God with fairness and love. I pray for the day that our bishops look into their church and see the marginalized, and not only feel their hearts breaking but feel called into action to bring those people in from the margins.

I’m tired of all the talk, frankly. I’m angered by the pretense that the radical inclusive love so needed in the church today may come from a process of discernment.

And so, I will attempt to take my cues from Jesus, who not only threw over the tables in the temple when the sacrifices of the marginalized were used for commercial gain, but who also patiently answered the lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor” with the parable of the good Samaritan, saying, “Go and do likewise.”


Mary Pratt is a psychotherapist in Austin, Texas, who is married to Sid Hall, senior minister at Trinity United Methodist Church in Austin. She and Sid have four grown children. Mary has identified as a bisexual woman since high school, and has identified as a United Methodist for the past 10 years.