THE MINNESOTA STATEMENT
An Open Pastoral Letter from the undersigned Deacons, Elders, Associate Members, and Local Licensed Pastors of the
Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church. 


Dear Bishop Bruce R. Ough,

As clergy in the Minnesota Annual Conference we give thanks for the leadership you provide for our Conference and the Council of Bishops, especially in the last three years. We believe you led with your whole heart an effort to bring forth a better way of being United Methodists and we look to you to lead boldly in the days to come.

We share your lament and deep sorrow for the harm caused to our LGBTQIA+ siblings by the recent actions taken at the 2019 General Conference.  We affirm with you that we are all created in the image of God and are of sacred worth. We acknowledge that the harm caused at the 2019 General Conference was not a first offense to LGBTQIA+ people. We lament the decades of harm that has silenced and pushed LGBTQIA+ voices to the margins of our church. We have deep sorrow that when the opportunity arose for our denomination to stand up for justice and inclusion, instead the choice was made to further divide and exclude. We confess our individual and our collective silence, privilege, and complicity for the sake of institutional unity has perpetuated harm for too long. 


We heard and accepted your call to remain in our mission fields to care for those experiencing pain, despair and grief. So, in the weeks since the 2019 General Conference, we provided pastoral care for individuals and families, we led worship, church meetings, and discussion groups, and we participated in positions of leadership in our greater communities. It was from these very places in our mission fields where we heard the pain caused by the actions of the institutional church, we felt the despair of those who have lost hope, and we shared the grief of those who felt they have lost their church.  

While we celebrate with you the rich history, ministry, and diversity of our United Methodist tradition, we cannot abide further discrimination and harm to be done to our LGBTQIA+ siblings and their allies.  Discrimination anywhere breaks the Body of Christ. 

Therefore: 

  1. We stand in awe of God’s beautiful rainbow of human creation and celebrate the diversity of sexual and gender identities. We celebrate the gifts of LGBTQIA+ people in the life of the church and beyond.

  2. We affirm our love of Wesleyan theology and spirituality; and believe that a Methodist way of being still has something to offer to a hurting and divided world yearning for peace. 

  3. We reject the outcome of the 2019 General Conference and stand against it as part of our baptismal vow to follow Jesus in resisting, “evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”

  4. We will not abide by the restrictions placed on LGBTQIA+ people and their allies in the Book of Discipline. We will provide pastoral care and leadership to all God’s people and will not discriminate. We take our authority as clergy to perform marriages per our consciences for our congregants and communities, whosoever they are. 

  5. We confess the sins of racism and sexism that also have deep roots in the church and acknowledge the need to include all forms of systemic oppression in the sacred work of reconciliation and justice for all.

The 2019 General Conference marked the death of the United Methodist Church. We cannot undo the harm done, and yet we are not defeated. The Spirit is breaking forth in new ways and cannot be contained by legislative structures and conference proceedings. In Christ we know that with death comes resurrection, and that love always prevails. 

We are Resurrection people.  Together we are ready to chart a new way forward for the people called Methodists in Minnesota and throughout the connection in which we can stand with integrity and full inclusion. We write to inform you of where the Spirit is leading us, and to invite you to redouble your efforts to lead boldly and courageously in the creation of a fully inclusive church. We are ready to work together. Thank you for your consideration, your prayers, and your leadership. 

In the grace and peace of Christ,

Clergy of the Minnesota Annual Conference 

Pastors and ordained persons wishing to add their name to this letter can sign below. The listing of names will be published to this page starting on 3/15 and then updated once a day at the end of the day. The letter and signers’ names will be published online, social media platforms and possibly in print media.

Name *
Name
Clergy Relationship

CLERGY SIGNERS

1.    The Rev.          Mariah Tollgaard

2.    The Rev.          Brenda North

3.    The Rev.          Lauren Rheingans

4.    The Rev.          Whitney Sheridan

5.    The Rev.          Leah Rosso

6.    The Rev.          Erica Koser

7.    The Rev.          Susan Mullin

8.    The Rev.          Jeffrey Ozanne

9.    The Rev.          Judy Zabel

10.  The Rev.          Daniel Johnson

11.  The Rev.          Nate Melcher

12.  The Rev.          Robert Kopp

13.  The Rev.          Becky Boland

14.  The Rev.          Michelle Miller

15.  The Rev.          Michelle Hargrave

16.  The Rev.          Rachel Morey

17.  The Rev.          Kelly Lamon

18.  The Rev.          Brian Hacklander

19.  The Rev.          Debra Jene Collum

20.  The Rev.          Max Richter

21.  The Rev. Dr.    Loren Olson

22.  The Rev.          Melanie Homan

23.  The Rev.          Suzanne Mades

24.  Pastor  Katie Matson-Daley

25.  The Rev.          Christopher Carr

26.  The Rev.          Greg Renstrom

27.  The Rev.          Linda Koelman

28.  The Rev. Dr.    Donna Dempewolf

29.  The Rev.          Linda Boorman

30.  The Rev.          Becky Sechrist

31.  The Rev.          Walter Lockhart

32.  The Rev.          Sarah Lawton

33.  Pastor  Laquaan Malachi

34.  The Rev.          Jeanine Alexander

35.  The Rev.          Andrew Church

36.  The Rev.          Linda McCollough

37.  The Rev.          Leigh Brown

38.  The Rev.          Patricia Hinker

39.  The Rev.          Susan Putzke

40.  The Rev.          Brooke Heerwald Steiner

41.  The Rev.          Rachael Warner

42.  Pastor  Joanne Coffin-Langdon

43.  The Rev.          David Stoeger

44.  The Rev.          Tamera S Churchill

45.  The Rev.          Jeremiah Lideen

46.  Pastor  Dawn Houser

47.  The Rev.          Karen Evenson

48.  The Rev.          Diane Olson

49.  The Rev.          Cynthia Yanchury

50.  The Rev.          Judy Myers

51.  The Rev.          Joyce Slostad

52.  The Rev.          Victoria Rebeck

53.  The Rev.          Nancy Victorin-Vangerud

54.  The Rev.          Katherine Austin Mahle

55.  Pastor  Paul Baudhuin

56.  Pastor  Eli Somers

57.  The Rev.          Judy WestLee

58.  The Rev.          Shawna Horn

59.  The Rev.          MaryAnne Korsch

60.  The Rev.          Becky Jo Messenbrink

61.  The Rev.          Abigail Ozanne

62.  The Rev.          Lois Burkart

63.  The Rev.          Amy Jo Bur

64.  The Rev.          Leah Challberg

65.  The Rev.          Jenny Lind Larsen

66.  The Rev.          Jean Elliott

67.  The Rev.          Bruce Robbins

68.  The Rev.          Daniel Foster

69.  The Rev.          Marianne Ozanne

70.  The Rev.          Jia Starr Brown

71.  The Rev.          Elizabeth Macaulay

72.  The Rev.          Karen Ashton

73.  The Rev.          Bethany Nelson

74.  The Rev.          Martha Postlethwaite

75.  The Rev.          Daniel Wetterstrom

76.  The Rev.          Chad Gilbertson

77.  The Rev. Dr.    Linda Gesling

78.  The Rev.          Hope Hutchison

79.  The Rev.          Grant Spencer

80.  The Rev.          Luke Nelson

81.  The Rev.          Shawn Moore

82.  The Rev.          Tiffany McDonald

83.  The Rev.          Bill Eaves

84.  The Rev.          Karen Bruins

85.  The Rev.          Duane M Gebhard

86.  The Rev.          David McBride

87.  The Rev.          Jerad Morey

88.  The Rev.          Ralph Gebhard

89.  The Rev.          Chris Kliesen Wehrman

90.  The Rev.          Paula Colton

91.  The Rev.          Dana Neuhauser

92.  The Rev.          William Meier

93.  Pastor  Laura Hannah

94.  The Rev.          Cooper Wiggen

95.  The Rev.          Rory Swenson

96.  Pastor  John McBride

97.  The Rev.          Christie Neuger

98.  The Rev.          Mary Kitchell

99.  The Rev.          Katy Lee

100.                The Rev.          Robert Braudt

101.                The Rev.          Diane Nelson

102.                The Rev.          Jen Anderson

103.                The Rev.          Debbie King Quale

104.                The Rev.          John Darlington

105.                Pastor  Steven Reiser

106.                The Rev.          Cynthia Coffin-Langdon

107.                The Rev. Dr.    Theresa Mason

108.                The Rev.          Emma Melin

109.                The Rev.          Stephanie Escher

110.                The Rev.          Michael Miller

111.                The Rev.          Dianne Ciesluk

112.                The Rev.          Nancy Wheeler Handlon

113.                The Rev.          Gail Alexander

114.                The Rev.          Dennis J. Alexander

115.                The Rev.          Bryce Johnson

116.                The Rev.          Jim Beard

117.                The Rev.          Carol Zaagsma

118.                The Rev.          Dandy Lewis

119.                The Rev.          Janet Morey

120.                The Rev.          Mary Keen

121.                The Rev.          Kevin Schill

122.                The Rev.          Amelia Buschena

123.                The Rev.          Cheryl M Goode

124.                The Rev.          Terri Horn

125.                The Rev.          Lisa Vick

126.                The Rev.          Rev. Tim Nelson

127.                The Rev.          DonnaD Buell

128.                The Rev.          Pamela Serdar

129.                Pastor  Beth Perez

130.                The Rev.          Holly Aastuen

131.                The Rev.          John Mitchem

132.                The Rev.          Brenda King

133.                Pastor  Pamela Seebach

134.                The Rev.          Laurie Boche

135.                The Rev.          Andrew Buschena

136.                The Rev.          Lynda Ellis

137.                The Rev.          Martin Rath

138.                The Rev.          Matthew P. Sipe

139.                Pastor  Paula Gaboury

140.                The Rev.          Dean Muesing

141.                The Rev.          Donna Draeger

142.                The Rev.          Nicholas Scutari

143.                Pastor  Gary Walpole

144.                The Rev.          Crystal Henderson

145.                The Rev.          Kent Johnson

146.                The Rev.          Christine Stone

147.                The Rev.          Sally Howell Johnson

148.                The Rev.          Phil Strom

149.                The Rev.          James Crecelius

150.                The Rev.          Laura Nordstrom

151.                The Rev.          Kathy Schuler

152.                The Rev.          David Wheeler

153.                The Rev.          Sam Kautz

154.                The Rev.          Elaine Shelby

155.                The Rev.          Cindy Rasmussen

156.                The Rev.          Jennifer Anderson

157.                The Rev.          Heather E. Klason

158.                The Rev.          Betty Schilling

159.                The Rev.          James Roe

160.                The Rev.          John Roberts

161.                The Rev.          Jeffrey Hansen

162.                The Rev.          Shirley Duncanson

163.                The Rev.          Marilyn Evans

164.                The Rev.          Donna Martinson

165.                The Rev.          Clint Evans

166.                The Rev.          Gary Lueck

167.                The Rev.          Ron Nicholas

168.                The Rev.          Jean Rollin

169.                The Rev.          Amanda Lunemann

170.                The Rev.          Dan Doughty

171.                The Rev.          Paul David Stanko

172.                The Rev.          Cullen Tanner

173.                The Rev.          Marylee Fithian

174.                Pastor  Karen Finnegan

175.                The Rev.          Jean Dumas

176.                Pastor  Stephen Dumas

177.                The Rev. Dr.    Ron Anderson

178.                The Rev.          Ted Colescott

179.                The Rev.          Dana Houck

180.                The Rev.          Cynthia Lynn

181.                The Rev.          T Warner Davidson

182.                The Rev.          Katie Schneider-Bryan

183.                The Rev.          Amanda Larsen

184.                The Rev. Dr.    Roger Parks

185.                The Rev.          Kay Hacklander

186.                The Rev.          Larry Tingle

187.                The Rev.          Mary Buckley

188.                Pastor  Jill Pawlowski

189.                The Rev.          Dorothy Bull

190.                The Rev.          Mickey Olson

191.                The Rev.          Greg Garman

192.                The Rev.          Cindy Kennedy

193.                The Rev.          Sally Wizik Wills

194.                The Rev.          Edward Holland

195.                Pastor  David Hodd

196.                The Rev.          Michael Nickerson

197.                Pastor  Scott Evenson

198.                The Rev.          Carol Walvatne

199.                The Rev.          Kevin Shannon

200.                Pastor  CHAPLAIN DON MALINSKY

201.                The Rev. Dr.    Lynn Pries

202.                The Rev.          William VanBenthuysen

203.                The Rev.          Gay Albers

204.                The Rev.          Thomas Fries

205.                The Rev.          Gary Ritnrr

206.                The Rev.          Duane Wacker

207.                The Rev.          Jo Campe

208.                The Rev.          Janiece Redman

209.                The Rev.          Deborah Walkes

210.                The Rev.          Maurice Midgley

211.                The Rev.          Robert A. Higle

212.                The Rev.          Lori Nielsen

213.                The Rev.          Chip Nielsen

214.                The Rev.          Bert Clayton

215.                The Rev.          Hugh Stephenson

216.                The Rev.          Ann Seeley

217.                Pastor  Dianna Dunham Foltz

218.                The Rev.          Paul Woolverton

219.                The Rev. Dr.    R Stanley Sutton

220.                The Rev.          Paul Baker

221.                The Rev.          Dan Schneider-Bryan

222.                The Rev. Dr.    Tom Biatek

223.                The Rev.          Robert  Neil. Dunn

224.                The Rev.          Marty Jones

225.                The Rev.          Mark Johnson

226.                The Rev.          Woojae Im

227.                The Rev.          JoAnne Amaral

228.                The Rev.          Pamela Barbour

229.                The Rev.          Patricia Toschak

230.                The Rev.          George Toschak

231.                The Rev.          Jeanne Exline

232.                The Rev.          Eric Hucke

233.                The Rev.          Dwight Haberman

234.                The Rev.          Lyndy Zabel

235.                The Rev.          Garry Teeter

236.                The Rev.          Greg Leslie

237. Pastor Gary Taylor

238. The Rev. Robert Zeimes

239. Pastor Tamara Luckhardt

240. The Rev. Gretchen Fogo

241. The Rev. Gary Gottfried

242. The Rev. Clay Oglesbee

243. The Rev. Carl Caskey

244. The Rev. Dr. John MacDougall

245. The Rev. James Horn

246. The Rev. Katherine Horn

247. The Rev. Laurits Nielsen

248. The Rev. Mary Ellen Nielsen

249. The Rev. Dr. Hilda Pfarls

250. The Rev. Bernard Lewellin

251. Pastor Katherine King

252. The Rev. Norman Witt

253. The Rev. Dr. Margery Lisle

254. Pastor Ashley Goltermann

255. The Rev. Grant Spencer

256. Pastor Pamela Seebach

257. The Rev. Jia Starr Brown

258. The Rev. James Haun