In The United Methodist Church (and other Christian denominations), it is difficult or impossible for lesbian, gay, transsexual, and bisexual clergy or laity to become a visible and outward channel for God’s saving grace. Our Strangely Warmed Hearts, which borrows its title from John Wesley’s description of how he felt when he discovered his spiritual identity, traces the history of the church’s struggle with homosexuality. These are deeply rooted issues based on whether the Scripture is interpreted as a means of grace or as a rule book. These different interpretations have ultimately shaped the church’s response. You’ll hear first-person accounts from LGBTQ persons who are faithfully serving in a denomination that denies their calls and—in some cases—their presence. From their stories you’ll learn how coming-out is a deeply spiritual process that has led them to recognize they are, indeed, authentic, God-created, and graced selves.
From the Faultlines collection, resources intended to inform conversations around human sexuality and the church.
“You are the one who created my innermost parts;
you knit me together while I was still in my mother’s womb.
I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart.
Your works are wonderful—I know that very well.”
—Psalm 139:13-14 (CEB)
“[Bishop Karen Oliveto] is sharing the love of Jesus, and meeting people where they are, no matter who they are, and no matter what they think about her. She loves them.”
—Kent Ingram, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.