Dear Bishops and Annual Conferences,

We the undersigned join our voices together in a Call for Grace in the United Methodist Church.  Our denomination has been torn with controversy for years and we longed for closure at the 2020 General Conference.  The global pandemic of COVID-19 has necessitated the postponement of General Conference until 2021.  This postponement means that the "Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation," which has been faithfully negotiated, must wait much longer for a formal vote.  Until full legislative closure is possible, we issue this Call for Grace, in the spirit of the Protocol.

1)  We urge all Bishops and Annual Conferences to make a public statement to honor the abeyance (moratorium) on formal charges and trials against LGBTQ clergy and against clergy who perform same-gender weddings.  Even the threat of these trials causes harm to our siblings in Christ.  The Protocol calls for this Grace and we urge everyone to live into it now.

2)  We urge all Bishops and Annual Conferences to honor the favorable terms of departure for local churches that is within the Protocol.  Bishops already have the authority under the current Book of Discipline and with the legislation that was passed at GC 2019 to negotiate with a local church to leave the denomination.  We simply ask that they do so within the spirit of the Protocol.

It was necessary to postpone General Conference for safety and good health.  That does not mean we need to postpone living in Grace.  Please honor the spirit of the Protocol.  This is our Call for Grace.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration.

In Christ,

The Undersigned

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