UMC to Decide if LGBT Members Can Stay Pastors

Karen Oliveto, center, meets with other gay clergy members.
Karen Oliveto, center, meets with other gay clergy members. (Karen Oliveto/Facebook)

The United Methodist Church Judicial Council will rule next week if gay and lesbian members of the clergy can maintain their pastoral roles.

The ruling comes after married lesbian Karen Oliveto was consecrated as a bishop last year.

Council of Bishops President Bishop Bruce Ough asked for prayer as the judicial council considers their ruling.

"[Easter is] the season of waiting for the Holy Spirit to come among us and make it possible for us to hear one another, to understand one another, to know the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," Ough said. "We are Easter People and we are not afraid! Come Holy Spirit! Come and grant us ears to hear and hearts to discern your wisdom and will for 'such a time as this.'" 

The Council will meet April 25 to discuss several cases, including Oliveto's.

The UMC's Book of Discipline maintains homosexuality is a sin, and people who identify as LGBT cannot serve in clergy roles.

LGBT members even sent a letter to the Council, claiming the debate over homosexuality is "hurtful." 

"We, your LGBTQI clergy, write to you before their session begins to respond in love to this harm," the letter says. "We, as the community of queer clergy ... stand together: we are all one body and one church. Together we affirm and are proud of our denomination's core beliefs and mission. ... (But) questions, briefs and complaints ... are hurtful to us, and they are hurtful to the whole church." 

The Council is working with the Commission on a Way Forward. The Commission on a Way Forward was proposed by the Council of Bishops and approved by the 2016 General Conference to do a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and explore options that help to maintain and strengthen the unity of the church, according to its website.

"We believe the Holy Spirit is operating through the Commission's and Council's leadership and conferencing," Ough said. "The conciliar work of the Commission happens concurrently with other legal, legislative and supervisory processes. However, we urge the entire church to stay focused on the Commission's work as our best opportunity to determine God's leading for the church. We believe the God who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6) and we need to hold this course."


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective