“Fundamentally, what it really comes down to is providing love and care for all people, which I think is exactly what we’re called to as ministers.” -- Rev. Jeff WellsI am so proud of my very dear friend, Jeff Wells. Jeff is a Methodist minister at the Community United Methodist Church in Massapequa, New York. Along with other United Methodist pastors in New York and Connecticut, he signed a pledge to perform weddings for same-sex couples despite the denomination’s ban on gay marriage.
The ministers' announcement of their intention to make weddings available to all marked the kick-off of a project called We do! Methodists Living Marriage Equality. “We refuse to discriminate against any of God’s children and pledge to make marriage equality a lived reality within the New York Annual Conference, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression,” the group declared in statement called A Covenant of Conscience and signed by 162 clergy members, 721 lay people and six entire congregations.
The ministers who have signed the pledge could be brought up on charges if they actually perform a gay wedding, which could lead to clergy orders being taken away. Jeff believes it is important to act despite the risk:
The time has come when we simply have to take a stand against the discriminatory policies of our denomination. I see myself as taking an action for the church because I believe that changing this discriminatory tradition is actually going to revitalize it.Amen to that.