It’s not unusual for LGBT-inclusive pastors to catch flak for their position; I daresay it happens more often than we know. We should always support these brave women and men of faith as they fight for our inclusion, but today I learned of a case that deserves special attention.
Rev. Kevin Young of Wesley Memorial UMC in Huntsville, Texas is under fire from some in his congregation. The college-age Sunday School class at his church recently decided to explicitly include LGBT people in their group. Though a vocal minority in the church have asked Rev. Young to overturn their decision, he is standing fast in support of inclusion.
You should know that this isn’t the first time Rev. Young has stood up for the inclusion of all in the UMC. Kevin Young took a major career risk last year in proposing Amendment One to the General Conference.
…it is not always easy to speak out, or to know what we can do as individuals within our denomination to promote the Christian message of Godâ€™s unequivocal love and grace.
Recently, we have been presented with an opportunity for action. The Rev. Kevin Young who, with his wife Laura co-chairs Breaking the Silence, is under attack by a small faction within his church who oppose his leadership in teaching and practicing the Gospel message that God loves all people. The attacks have been relentless and personal. The attackers have sought to stir up dissent within the congregation and have said that their goal is to get Rev. Young removed from their church. They have withdrawn their financial support leaving the church with a shortfall that now stands at about $35,000.
Each of us can take action and make a difference in the following ways:
- Send a note, a card, or other written demonstration of support and love for Kevin and Laura.
- If your finances permit, you can make a donation to Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, Huntsville, to help the church overcome its deficit and continue to meet its apportionments and operating expenses. A donation of $50 or $100, or indeed, any amount, would be helpful and welcome. If 100 people each could make a donation of $500, the immediate financial crisis would be averted and the church would have an operating fund cushion to allow Rev. Young to focus on healing the schism within his congregation. Every contribution sends a message that you support inclusive clergy and the silent majority within their churches who also stand with them.
Let’s return the favor and support Rev. Young now. If you (like me) can’t make a financial donation, please send Rev. Young a message of encouragement. (See the University UMC post for contact information and instructions.)