Sunday, March 3, 2019 

To the People of Allendale United Methodist Church,

I bring greetings from your Episcopalian neighbors at The Cathedral Church of St. Peter.  We can only imagine how difficult the last week has been as your denominational delegates gathered to consider the explicit and full inclusion of all people in the life of your church, voting instead in a way that was disappointing to your community and ours as well.

While we have some understanding of the pain you must be experiencing, we know and are reminded that your community is full of love and actively seeks opportunities to be witnesses of radical love in the many ways in which you live out your baptismal vows.  Your work to dismantle White Supremacy in all its expressions is a hallmark of your discipleship, and you are leaders in the work of repairing the injustices that many of our LGBTQ siblings face each day, regardless of the denominational consequences.

Your statement to be a space for the purpose of calling yourselves and your greater community to its best self is an inspiring one, and we look forward to the ways in which we can join and stand with you in solidarity.  We cannot rest until each and every person’s Imago Dei is recognized and treated with the love and grace that we are taught are at the heart of what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ.

While we grieve alongside you at the ways in which the church continuously fails to live into our call to join with Christ in the restoration of God’s kingdom, we celebrate in the knowledge that there are churches like Allendale UMC, who “affirm the sacred worth of all people and strive to practice Christ’s example of unconditional love without exclusion.”

Faithfully, we are your sisters and brothers in Christ,

The Clergy of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter
The Very Reverend Stephen Morris, Dean of the Cathedral
The Reverend Canon Katie Churchwell
The Reverend Canon Sam Tallman
The Reverend Canon Dr. Thomas Williams
The Reverend Paige Alvarez Hanks
The Reverend Brandon Peete
The Reverend Deacon Scott Nonken

The Rev. Paige Hanks with clergy from Allendale UMC and other congregations in St Petersburg

The Rev. Paige Hanks with clergy from Allendale UMC and other congregations in St Petersburg