Skip links

Message from Bishop Escobedo-Frank: General Conference Update May 1

Bishop Escobedo-Frank shares about an exciting vote to remove the ban on gay clergy at the UMC General Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.


Dear preacher, Dear lay leader, Dear church,
It’s only Wednesday, but it’s also forty years later. It’s already the eighth day of General Conference, and it’s the first day of a new phase in our church.

While we in the Western Jurisdiction and elsewhere have long acknowledged our LGBTQ+ clergy and siblings, today we successfully removed the language that officially separated you from a full expression of yourself in our United Methodist connection. I cherish your work in our community and exalt your call to ministry. God’s image is evident in you, and I rejoice with you on this historic day in our church.

We passed the removal of this ban on gay clergy with an overwhelming 93% affirmative vote. A signal of a new period of unity in our church. One where we can listen and learn from one another and celebrate our differences and the ways that they can add up to a cohesive whole that serves our diverse body of Christ.

Throughout this conference, we have served as witnesses to the fruition of the hard work of pushing for change, inclusion, and repentance of harm. I honor you. You who have encouraged us to become a more perfect church. I also want to say to those of you who are questioning this decision, that God’s table is wide and large – deep in mercy, and wide in grace.

This is the day the Lord has made, and we are so very glad in it.