12 September 2013
Bishop Mark Webb
Upper New York Annual Conference
324 University Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210
I write in support of the Reverend Stephen Heiss. I believe that Steve has looked at the scripture, and as Luther promoted, has determined how it speaks to him and to today’s world. Clearly he sees the functioning role of the church to be people oriented, not institutionally bound where it restricts the wholeness of any of God’s children.
I, like many others, have had to face the many scriptures designed and written centuries ago to speak to certain needs of that day; and the needs of today’s people to relate to and be touched by the love of God and his Son.
Our Lord walked among and ministered unto prostitutes, thieves, lepers, tax collectors, and all manner of people that the society of the time determined were evil or unworthy. Our living God sent his Son to change the world even as God himself changed from the punitive father of the Old Testament to a living, loving God of the Gospels, more open to the humanity of His people.
God's love through Christ is not limited to a specific place in time or to any people of the nations of the earth. Who then are we to deny the love of God and his Son to people of the LGBT community? They were born this way. They are one more group of God's children with unique characteristics. Should we also not perform marriages between a Black and a Caucasian, or a red head and a blonde, or a person born without limbs to a limbed person? It is time the Church get over itself and start walking in Christ’s sandals.
Antiques collectors talk of marriages of furniture parts to create a functioning whole piece of furniture. The top of one highboy with the bottom of another is an example. The Church should always be about helping people to heal and function as wholly as possible. God did not, and does not, restrict his love. Why then do we think we have the right to do it by denying marriage within the church to anyone, including members of the LGBT community?
If the laws of a State or Commonwealth deny marriage among LGBT members then the church should be on the march to change the law.
The Reverend Stephen Heiss is on the right track at the right time in God’s world. I pray that the church can catch up. Let us not let political smokescreens prevent God’s love in action.
Your servant in Christ,
Rev. David Kleinstuber - retired