Among my greatest joys has been hearing the countless stories of how Disciple has changed lives, inspired calls to ministry, restored marriages, and healed and strengthened congregations. Understanding how God has used this study to bring positive change to our church has been both rewarding and humbling.
That is why the current divide in our United Methodist Church over homosexuality breaks my heart. I have given my life to revitalizing the church and bringing people to Christ. I want to say that allowing this issue to separate us seems incomprehensible — but I suppose I can comprehend it on a certain level.
Thirty years ago our daughter Sarah shared with Julia and me that she is gay and that she had entered into a committed relationship. She came out to us when she was 27 years old. We never imagined this was anything that would touch our family. While I had never studied in depth the passages in the Bible that seem to condemn homosexuality, I felt the Bible was clear, and as a pastor and leader in the church I stood by what our United Methodist Book of Discipline said.
Now, however, I was facing this matter as a parent.
Click here to read the rest of Bishop Wilke's plea to the United Methodist Church.