Foundry Sends Open Letter to Bishop Easterling

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Foundry Management Board sent a letter to Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling, on behalf of the Foundry community, expressing our shock and sadness with the bishop's decision related to removing T.C. Morrow and Joey Heath-Mason’s names from consideration for commissioning and ordination, respectively, by this year’s Clergy Session of Annual Conference.

Members of the congregation are invited to sign the letter in Community Commons after both services on June 17 and June 24. The signed letter will be given to Bishop Easterling on June 24 when she joins us at 1:30pm when she will conduct a listening session/town hall meeting in response to her actions at Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference related to clergy candidates in same-gender marriages.

The letter reads in part:
“Many of us at Foundry feel disappointed, confused, and even abandoned as a result of the ruling. We will continue to push for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church. At our baptisms, we made a promise to ‘resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.’ Our resistance to the discriminatory practices of our denomination is part of how we fulfill that promise. We will resist the denial of full marriage rites for LGBTQ couples in our churches. We will push forward to ensure that LGBTQ persons who are called and gifted for ordained ministry are given that chance by our church. If necessary, we will engage in acts of biblical obedience or support and defend others who do, to advance the cause for justice.

But now is the time when prophetic leadership is needed from bishops like you. The church cries out for guidance. If you believe the discriminatory language in The Book of Discipline is wrong, the church needs not only to hear that, but to see you act on that belief. Waiting to see what happens in February harms the church and harms LGBTQ United Methodists. The ‘line’ that is being drawn in this debate is not between two equivalent camps in a theological debate. The only ‘line’ that is being drawn is one that keeps LGBTQ people out of our church. When that line is drawn, and leaders refuse to erase it—or even to cross it—it damages LBGTQ people, Methodist or non-Methodist. It casts doubt on the message that everyone is welcome in the church universal, and it denies the truth that all people – ALL people – are of sacred worth.

We need bishops who will boldly reject capitulation to bad church laws and instead start declaring—in word and deed—that discrimination against LGBTQ people is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

>> Read the full letter.

Open-Letter-to-Bishop-Easterling-From-Foundry-UMC061718.pdf149.37 KB