Bishop Mark J. Webb
324 University Avenue, 3rd Floor
Syracuse, NY 13210
Dear Bishop Webb,
Greetings to you, Bishop Webb, from a fellow Christian who attempts to follow the lead of Jesus in my life and has had the great pleasure and honor of going to Jurisdictional Conference with you last year. Thank you for your loving care of me on the day that my mother died. I will never forget that great kindness.
The reason I am writing is that I am blessed because because I have been married to a wonderful man for 36 years. Andy is fun, intelligent, hard-working, and a good father. Together we enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, as well as hunting for mushrooms and going to church together every week.
Along the same line of thinking, I believe that God loves every human being without regard to his or her sexual orientation. Jesus often exhibited the welcoming act of inviting those on the fringes, or even those outside of the circle of power, might and “right” into the circle of God’s loving care. It is both of those thoughts that have led me to pray for you to find a creative way to welcome all people into the United Methodist Church without regard to their sexual orientation and to bless those pastors who preside over same sex marriages.
Please open your heart to God’s guidance for a way out of this conundrum that results in keeping Reverend Steve Heiss as a UMC elder, welcoming all people without any qualifications into the UMC and opening our churches to bless those who choose to marry no matter what their sexual orientation.
Beside the love issue, there is also the civil rights issue that we are created equal and every one ought to have the same rights as any other. Both of these issues are equally important.
I have been praying for you and continue to pray for you because I believe you are a faithful child of God who is open to hearing God’s answer to prayer. Thank you for your faithful witness and for considering all options.
Joan E. Carey, Ph. D.