Sept. 14, 2013
Bishop Mark Webb
324 University Ave., 3rd floor
Syracuse, NY 13210
Dear Bishop Webb,
I am writing in support of the actions of Rev. Steve Heiss and any other United Methodist pastors who believe that the church’s support, ceremonies, acceptance, and love should be available to all people – those of any gender, race, economic or educational status, physical ability, sexual orientation or any other characteristic that might result in discrimination.
Because of this belief, I am one of many who cannot fully accept the current version of the Discipline of the UM church. Our church, First UMC of Schenectady, took several years learning about homosexuality before we agreed to openly state that we welcomed people of any sexual orientation. Since then we have had the opportunity to get to know many gay and lesbian people, some in committed relationships and some not, some with children and some not. The love shown in these relationships has been at least as committed as in heterosexual couples. Those seeking the blessing of the church deserve to have it.
My understanding is that you are charged with finding a “just resolution” to the current situation with Rev. Heiss. I feel that the only “just” resolution would be one which provides justice to the newly married couple – total acceptance of their marriage. The rules of the national church are harsh, judgmental, and cruel. We have an opportunity now to begin to change them. I’m sure you’ve heard the idea that a crisis equals an opportunity. I hope you will take this opportunity to help make the statement of “open hearts, open minds, open doors” be true for more than the doors.