September 18, 2013
Dear Bishop Webb,
I am a longtime friend of Rev. Steve Heiss. I served on SPPRC when he was appointed to Broad Street in Norwich. As Middle School Principal, I had both of his daughters go through my school.
Steve and I often met for lunch-usually on at least a weekly basis. We often talked of philosophy and ethics as they appeared in each of our respective careers. I found Steve to be a man of deep belief in equity and fairness for all. He cares for all of God’s creations-especially for all of his people.
I am going to make this brief because I feel that, too often, thoughts get muddled in too much verbiage. My God is a god of love and compassion for all of his creations. My God would welcome all of his people, whether straight or gay into his open arms. My God would be sad to see what is written in the Discipline of the Methodist Church. Biblically, my God would fight for the inclusion of those who have been historically ostracized by society-and that would make him joyous.
You, as Bishop, have the opportunity to summon up your courage and stand up with the rest of us who believe in what Steve is doing. If you have that courage, it is my belief that God will bless you for it. Two or three years ago, when I was a representative to Conference, our Conference voted to support gay marriage and inclusion in our Conference-wide thinking. What a heartbreak to know that our input was not recognized!
Again, I implore you to have the strength and determination to support Steve in his mission!
Michael J. McCollough