Excerpt from a letter written by Bishop Melvin G. Talbert:
Recently I had a conversation with my 16-year-old granddaughter. I felt like she needed to hear from her Papa about the stand I was making with others for LGBTQ inclusion in the church, and how some leaders were reacting in fear, seeking to put her Papa on trial. I attempted to ease into this sensitive topic, but she quickly interrupted me…
Papa, the church isn’t just talking about abstract people- they are talking about my friends!
She was seeing persons of different sexual orientations and gender identities not as an issue to compromise over, but simple as friends, embodying the last words Jesus gave us in John 15:
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends… Appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last…
I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
Young allies like my granddaughter will soon be choosing for themselves whether they will still call THE UMC home. It is no longer just LGBTQ persons who are being kept from the full ministry of the church, but also my granddaughter who will go where her friends are welcomed and affirmed….