Bishop Mark Webb
324 University Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
Good evening, Bishop Webb. I hope this finds you well. I am writing in support of Reverend Steve Heiss and his support of LGBT marriage equality. Unlike many of the folks you may be hearing from, I am neither a Bible scholar nor what I would consider an activist. I am just a mom of two beautiful children, ages 10 and 13, and I struggle every day to keep my faith in the future world they will live in – a world that I hope will be ruled more by kindness and gentleness than by intolerance and rules that benefit some while compromising others. A world that will prove that it matters more what is in your heart and how you treat others than the color of your skin, the size of your bank account, or who you were destined to love. And I pray that they will always have a “Steve” in their lives.
Steve has, quite simply, inspired me, by example, to live by this underlying value: to do no harm and try to do as much good as we can – to live as a kind disciple of Jesus, or as close as our imperfect selves will allow. And because of Steve, I am trying to teach my children to live the same way.
He has even captured the heart and intellect of my husband, who does not have faith in organized religion and has rejected the church, but he does have faith in Steve.
What incredible power - to inspire future generations to believe in themselves and believe in their ability to create a better world according to Jesus’ teachings. And not by blind faith in rules that haven’t kept up with the world we live in today, but by questioning how to do and be more and better. How could the United Methodist Church ask for more than that?
It may not seem like I am connecting my thoughts to the issue of LGBT marriage equality, but rather to Steve specifically. But here it is – Do you ever ask yourself if you would have had the courage to stand up against the persecution of Jews, or the enslavement and mistreatment of African American people? Do you wonder what you would have done? This is your historic moment.
It is not enough for you and those around you to stand behind the current, uninspired, legal stance of the United Methodist Church. As a disciple of our God, you owe him more than that. You owe him the courage to stand for what is right, kind, tolerant and scary to some - the courage that Jesus lived and died for and the courage that Steve has and lives every day.
I am confident that you can help us figure the right way through this. A way that will not minimize the power and good of a man more like Jesus than anyone I have ever known. And a man uniquely qualified to guide us through a critically important moment in the United Methodist Church. Thank you for considering my thoughts, and take good care.