Dear LGBTQ Friends,

This is an open letter to the San Jose community. I don’t speak for the entire Christian Church. As a United Methodist Pastor, I speak for myself and the local church I am part of, Alum Rock United Methodist Church in San Jose, California.

I am sorry.

I publicly apologize.

We who call ourselves “followers of Christ,” Christians, acknowledge our complicity and apologize for the hurt we have inflicted, in the name of God.

Seeing the mistreatment of the LGBTQ community by fellow Christians also hurt us, the insiders, and we repent of our harmful actions.

We love and accept you just as your are – the fabulous person God created. We are transforming our hearts, minds, spirits, and language.

We, United Methodists are asked to do no harm, to do good, and to love God. WE have failed in this task and have only minimally tried to live these principles. We have certainly used God’s name to justify our actions of harm against you. But, we are steadfast in restoring our relationship with you. We are moving forward this new Year motivated to love you.

Let me be real.

I humbly submit that I want this to be more than nice words – and we seek your wisdom to walk with you. May we join you in this journey together?

We express our profound sorrow and regret for our prejudices.

We lay down our privilege and acknowledge our inappropriate behavior and harmful acts of condemnation:

When we did not advocate on your behalf.
When we stayed silent to injustice.
When we caused you harm.
When we did not offer you God’s gift of grace and love.
When we have ignored your welfare.
When we pretended to be open and care about your well-being, but did not.
When we have not allied with you.
When we have not held your best interest in our hearts

And especially when we attacked, condemned, judged, and caused pain and suffering and even death.

Where must we go from here?

In God’s Grace and unconditional love, we will work:

  • To work on ourselves to be more loving and transform our harmful behaviors towards LGBTQI people.
  • To use language which is inclusive and respectful.
  • To create programs to support LGBTQI Pride.
  • To create safe spaces.
  • To present an inclusive image of God.
  • To support and assist in your well-being for you to thrive.
  • To seek your best interest with you to help you be your best-self.
  • To condemn homophobic behaviors and actions.
  • To be your advocate and ally for equality of ALL.
  • To specifically support LGBTQI policies and legislation for full equality.
  • To celebrate LGBTQI Pride every chance we have.
  • To celebrate living life to its fullest in God.

We have let you down, but not more! Enough! we move forward together to create a new tomorrow!

May God take us to new heights! To new possibilities! May God show us the limitless wonders of love!

In Appreciation of your being,

Rev. Stephen Lee, Pastor
Ms. Melody Aberin, PRIDE Coordinator

Melody Aberin

Melody is a certified lay speaker, born and raised in Alum United Methodist church. She is currently an art student focusing on 3D animation for game design. Melody is an active member in local Reconciling and youth ministries, and hopes to break down social barriers through love, education, and awareness.
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