Greetings to Rev. Benjamin Hutchison, The Cassopolis UMC Congregation, Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey, and the LGBT Community:
Last night the Reconciling United Methodists of Eastern Pennsylvania expressed their sadness, hurt, and dismay at your removal, Rev. Hutchinson, from what has been an apparently loving and effective pastorate. We have been informed that you were dismissed because of your commitment and love for a person of your same gender. I was appointed by our group to write this letter on their behalf.
We want you to know that we support you in your marriage and your call, praying and working that our United Methodist Church will move toward become an inclusive church, following the example of our Christ and our founder, The Rev. John Wesley. We could not presume to know your feelings at this point, but our feelings of love and concern for you are very strong. Please try to be faithful to your calling, even though people who call themselves “religious” are trying to exclude you and block you.
God bless you in your marriage and the natural fulfilment of the love that you and your partner, Monty, have for one another.
One gratifying result of what has transpired out of all this is the love and loyalty that the Cassopolis UMC has shown for their pastor, Rev. Hutchison, who is being punished and persecuted by The United Methodist Church, although he has done no wrong. In fact, according to all that we have read, he has been an exemplary pastor who has led his church in growing at a rapid pace over the past three years.
The phrase we keep hearing is that he was “beloved by his congregation.” Thank you, Church, for standing by your pastor. We embrace your heartache.
Bishop Kiesey, we do wonder what you are feeling at this point. Proud, self-righteous, defender of the faith, troubled, sad, guilty, used, regretful, at peace? Only you know, but we want to express to you that our prayers are with you and with all the leaders of our Church that you might once again become the “prophetic voice of God” and put the way of Christ and the Holy Bible above church unity and the Discipline! We need you to be the “vicar of Christ” and lead us.
To all LGBT Christians and supporters, we apologize for the pain the Church is causing you, and we beg you to remain faithful in light of the adversity you face from those who call themselves followers of the Christ. Our Church really needs you to bless us with your presence.
Grace and Peace,
Reconciling United Methodists EPAUMC, Rev. Herb Snyder (Representative)
This page includes written testimonials, articles, and podcast interviews with reconciling United Methodists in Eastern PA and beyond.