Support for Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy and all LGBTQ clergy and candidates

Resolution for the 2014 New York Annual Conference

Whereas, Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy is a gifted and valued member of the New York Annual Conference; having been ordained in 2006; serving for seven years as the pastor of The Federated Church of Kerhonkson, in Kerhonkson, New York, as both a local pastor and an ordained elder; and currently serving in extension ministry as the Dean of Student Development Services at SUNY Sullivan; and,

Whereas, Rev. Tweedy is widely known as a gifted preacher and leader, who graduated from Yale Divinity School where her gifts were acknowledged when she received the Henry Hallam Tweedy Prize [no relation] for “exceptional promise for pastoral leadership”; and

Whereas, Rev. Tweedy is a part of the ministry team at Memorial United Methodist Church in White Plains, where she preaches once a month; and

Whereas, Rev. Tweedy shares her life with her spouse Kristin Marcell and their sons Max and Rowan, and they are all beloved family and an integral part of the Memorial United Methodist Church community; and

Whereas, Rev. Tweedy has lived a life of integrity, never denying her family or whom God created her to be; the New York Annual  Conference ordained her, choosing to recognize her gifts and honor the Book of Discipline’s inclusive and justice-affirming intents over its contradictory punitive, unjust, exclusionary rules; and

Whereas, in early 2013, Rev. Tweedy was notified that a complaint had been filed against her for the chargeable offense of being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual”;  and after a just resolution process was declared a failure by Bishop Martin McLee, the complaint was referred to a counsel for the church; and  in May 2014 the complaint was dismissed by Bishop McLee; and,

Whereas, the New York Annual Conference has long been on record in opposition to the UMC’s prejudice and discrimination against LGBTQ people; therefore be it

Resolved, that we as members of the New York Annual Conference affirm the ministry of Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy, give thanks to God for her gifts among us and her faithfulness, celebrate her family, and support her continued status as an ordained elder in the New York Annual Conference; and be it further

Resolved, that we also affirm the ministry of all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clergy in the New York Annual Conference and the entire United Methodist Church, celebrate their families, and work towards the day when they can all serve our church without fear of complaints, trials, persecution, and prejudice; and be it further

Resolved, that it is our aspirational goal for the Board of Ordained Ministry to celebrate the marital status of all candidates for ministry and to not consider sexual orientation or gender identity in their decision-making process; and be it further

Resolved, that it is our aspirational goal for the bishop, members of the cabinet, and all church leadership to celebrate the marital status of all candidates and not to consider the discriminatory and prejudicial prohibitions against gay, lesbian, and bisexual clergy in the ministry of our church.

As amended and passed June 6, 2014