Beloved New York Annual Conference:
Many of you may have read the recently published article in The New York Times that centered on same sex marriage and The United Methodist Church. The confidentiality requirements of the complaint process prevent me from discussing the case in detail. However, as is the case on many issues confronting the church today, there are multiple perspectives associated with human sexuality.
There is also a multiplicity of other concerns that we are confronted with as a body of Christian believers. Immigration reform, gun violence, poverty and the challenges within our criminal justice system are but a few of the significant issues on the local and national landscape.
As United Methodists, we are not a one-issue denomination. We find ourselves on the front lines providing leadership in many arenas. I have witnessed the incredible efforts connected to addressing hunger, inadequate housing, Superstorm Sandy recovery and mission support of our international partners during my travels around the conference over the past eight months. I applaud the faithfulness and tenacity of the clergy and laity of the New York Annual Conference as you respond to the many needs we face.
As we continue forward, I encourage you to deepen your resolve to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Continue to pray for the United Methodist witness as we reach out to a hurting world. Tonight, some child, perhaps in your community, will not have a place to sleep; and some family will not be able to feed itself. New York Annual Conference, be encouraged. There is much work to be done and there are many challenges to meet. Remember, we are not alone. God is with us.
The songwriter said it best: “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.”
All my prayers,
Bishop Martin D. McLee