The Methodist clergy who came out last week in the lead up to their denomination's convention are not alone.
On May 9, 111 Methodist leaders publicly announced themselves as having non-straight sexual orientations in anticipation of the general conference of the United Methodist Church.
The UMC does not officially ordain LGBTQI clergy, and defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
But that could change over the course of the next week, as hundreds of UMC representatives gather to vote on issues important to their congregations.
And now, Christian leaders across denominations are lifting their voices in affirmation of their LGBTQI colleagues.
Their letter reads in part:
On Monday, we read the words many of you offered together to your beloved church. Our hearts swelled with pride at your prophetic and vulnerable truth-telling, even as they also clenched in empathy at the fear and risk many of you must have felt. With your words still reverberating inside of us, emboldening our own faith, we want you to know that you are not alone. Those of you who came out in Monday’s letter, and those who have come before you, and those who are still not able to live out your sexual and gender identities openly: we see you and we support you and we are surrounding you with love.
Alongside all of you, we hope and work for a church and world that fully reflect the spirit of God by embracing all of God’s children. We give thanks for all that you are, for your faithful witness, and for your ministries. And we echo your message: it’s time.
Read the full letter at Believe Out Loud.