An Act of Resistance for Clergy

Created by Lisa Blaylock. Free to use or adapt

This could be used by any congregation who has multiple clergy or it could be done by lay people using colorful bands of cloth.

We have a large congregation with a number of retired pastors who worship with us.  Here is something we did in worship.  All the clergy wore their rainbow stoles.  During the prelude (Amazing Grace) we draped our stoles over the pulpit.  The pulpit remained empty for the rest of the service.


for all LGBTQIA persons harmed by the United Methodist Church

A stole is the band of colored cloth worn by clergy, signifying their status as an ordained elder, deacon or minister of the church. The Methodist church has long discriminated against LGBTQIA persons by refusing to allow them to become ordained and by refusing to allow United Methodist clergy to officiate weddings of same sex couples. Countless individuals have been harmed by this restrictive policy. Today, our denomination is living under the plan passed at the General Conference in 2019 that imposes even harsher penalties on LGBTQ clergy, and clergy who officiate weddings, placing their livelihood, their jobs, their insurance, and even their ordination at risk if they follow their heart and conscience. Today your clergy stand in solidarity with all persons who have been harmed by the United Methodist Church. We drape our stoles over the pulpit for all those who have been denied clergy status, and we leave the pulpit empty to remember those who are still denied a voice.

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Latest Resources

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We invite you to incorporate the work of resisting harm into the worship life of your church or group.  This worksheet is a tool for use by individuals or groups, as a starting point for finding ways to incorporate #ResistHarm into regular Sunday worship, small group meetings, or vigils and special services; it includes some starting points, […]
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