Bishop Mark Webb
Upper NY Annual Conference
324 University Avenue, 3rd Floor
Syracuse NY 13210
Dear Bishop Webb,
I am writing in support of Reverend Steve Heiss. Although I do not know him well, I totally support him in his performance of a same-sex marriage ceremony.
I guess I am what some call a “cradle Methodist” because my grandparents and parents were Methodist and I was brought up in the Methodist Church. Over the years, I have changed and so has my church, First United Methodist of Oneonta. After careful study, in 1989, the congregation agreed to become a reconciling congregation. I feel this is the way a church should be, especially one that advertises “open hearts, open minds, open doors.” I certainly am no Biblical scholar, but from what I have read in the New Testament, Jesus was not one to shut people out – he reached out to those who might be discriminated against. Sexual orientation is not a choice, it is determined at birth, the same as skin color. It is also on a continuum, again like skin color, not just pure black or white. I think it is wonderful now that so many states are making it legal for people who love each other to get married, whether of the same gender or not. If they wish to be married in their church, they should be allowed to do so. When I got married 45 years ago, I did not realize what a privilege it was to be married in my Methodist church – a privilege that same sex couples are still denied. I might also mention that we were married by a gay minister. Later his sexual orientation was discovered and he committed suicide. What a waste. Homosexuals should be fully welcomed into our ministry if they feel called to it, without fear and without secrecy.
There are so many larger issues that the church should be devoting its time and money to – issues such as poverty, climate change and its effects on the disadvantaged, violence, etc. Please do not proceed to support the charges against Steve Heiss. Take a stand to truly let our churches be inclusive.
Dorothy Scott Fielder