A group of United Methodist pastors in the denomination’s Western Jurisdiction has issued a statement of support for the recent election of Pastor Karen Oliveto as a bishop in their region. Oliveto, who legally married another woman two years ago, has been criticized by reform and renewal groups within the UMC as violating her ordination vows to uphold the denomination’s governing Book of Discipline. The discipline states that “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” are not to be ordained as ministers.

The pastors’ statement reads:

“As pastors of large churches in the Western Jurisdiction, we rise in full support of the consecration of Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto as a new bishop in The United Methodist Church. We embrace this Kairos Moment as we live into a Gospel that welcomes all. We stand United in spirit excited that the tent of The United Methodist Church is growing large enough to make room for all. The diversity of culture, experience, thought and theology is a rich blessing for us in the Western Jurisdiction.” CONTINUE READING