I am Rev. Will Ed Green (he/him), Pastor & Director of Discipleship at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. where I help to coordinate small group, fellowship group, adult education, retreat, and leadership development ministries. Over the course of my ministry I’ve served churches in Arkansas and Illinois, in addition to serving as a cochair of the Division on Ministries with Young People.
I’m also an Arkansan in diaspora.I was born there and raised there, educated there, called by my local United Methodist Church into ministry there. And in 2008, as I pastored two churches and worked toward ordination, I was outed as gay there. The local leaders of the denomination told me that if I wanted to serve God, it would have to be elsewhere, because the Methodist Book of Discipline said people like me were “of sacred worth… but incompatible with Christian teaching.” I faced a heart-rending choice: abandon the family, congregations and communities that had nurtured me, or abandon God’s call. In 2009, I faced my exodus.
Today, I give thanks for that journey. Not only have I found a place where my deeply evangelical, orthodox roots meets my commitment to building a just, anti-racist, anti-colonial church, but I’ve been given a chance to create the same space that was made for me for the queer persons in the communities I’m called to serve. I’ve witnessed what happens when the church throws open its doors with radical hospitality and embraces Christ’s call to love and serve all as dozens of LGBTQ+ persons, their families, and allies find a place in Christian community they never thought they would have. I’ve seen hearts transformed and lives changed when we extend radical hospitality and celebrate the full diversity of our human family. I’ve journeyed alongside queer persons longing to have their love for one another celebrated in the community they call home—and seen how those marriages enrich those communities. I’ve watched God call some of the most profoundly gifted, prophetic, creative people into ministry who happen to be queer. And their space to answer that call was made by congregations who were willing to support them, despite the punitive policies of our denomination.
That’s why I support this movement to #ResistHarm. Because to do anything less would be an abdication of the call which Christ has placed upon my life to proclaim the Gospel in ways that lifts up, liberates, and empowers all people. And because I know that to do anything less than that would be to have lived life doing nothing at all. I hope you’ll join our movement in whatever ways the Spirit might move your heart to do so. Stand up. Speak out. Resist harm and watch what God can do.
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