Surely God is Weeping: Standing with our LGBTQ family in and around the UMC global community.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEB 26, 2019

STATEMENT OF AUBURN SEMINARY PRESIDENT THE REV. DR. KATHARINE RHODES HENDERSON

“Surely God is weeping over the vote of the United Methodist Church to double down on the ban against LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriage. We share the pain of those who experienced the divisions we see in the world acted out in breaking apart the body of Christ. We especially lift up that the rejection of LGBTQ people is one of the major reasons that younger generations are leaving the church, making it an impediment to a relationship with God.

We call out the cynical tactics of those who would pit LGBTQ people and allies in the US against those in the Global South. We know that there are faithful LGBTQ people around the world, in every culture and conference of the Church. As an institution, Auburn has long worked with LGBTQ faith leaders and witnessed the enormous gifts they can bring as clergy and lay leaders. Moreover, we affirm that God’s love manifests in many kinds of human relationships, and same-gender loving couples who desire the blessing of marriage should have it as they are beloved children of God and made in God’s image.

Jesus broke barriers and stayed in relationship with a whole spectrum of human beings. He cared more about extending love to marginalized people than rejecting them with judgment. And it’s because of Jesus, and the spirit that animates our friends in the United Methodist Church, that we have hope despite the conflict.

We have watched with admiration and heartache as you organized across continents, in your own conferences, and within your congregations to heal the United Methodist Church from a posture of exclusion that has harmed so many for so long. Our prayer for the UMC global community today is that it reflect on the harm done and celebrate the love that redeems us all.  Our prayer for the LGBTQ and allied members of the church is that you grieve together and press on for the future of our faith.

This story isn’t over, and Auburn is with you.”

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