Bishop Grant Hagiya Celebrates Washington Marriage Equality

Recently, Bishop Grant Hagiya of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska Annual Conferences publicly expressed his disagreement with UM policy regarding same-sex marriage.

“Difficult letters, like difficult conversations are never easy.  However, God never promised us easy, and there are times when we must take up the cross and walk in faith.  I write today not representing the United Methodist Church, for only General Conference can do that.  So, even though I write this letter as your Bishop, I hope it will also be received as your friend in Christ.

With the signing by Governor Gregoire of a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington as of June 7th, the state joins six others in recognizing this union.  Personally, I celebrate the signing into law of the legalization of same-sex marriage for our state.  It is an historic moment for the people of this geographic region, and it marks a secular turning point in the liberation of those who have too long been oppressed in our current times.  I celebrate with those who will be free to enjoy equal health and security benefits through the state institution of marriage.

I also personally grieve over our United Methodist Church polity that will not recognize same-sex marriage.  I believe that it is wrong, and we should work for a more inclusive and humane response.  The reason for this stance is that I believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of God’s divine love for the entire creation, and no one should be shut out from God’s embracing Grace.”

SWTX Annual Conference Luncheon – Corpus Christi

Planning is under way for our Second Annual Peace and Justice Luncheon at the Southwest Texas Annual Conference in Corpus Christi, TX June 7 – 10.  The inaugural luncheon in 2011 attracted about 150 persons to hear Dr. Joerg Rieger of Perkins School of Theology.  The luncheon was a cooperative effort by our MFSA chapter, the Conference Board of Church and Society, and the conference’s Reconciling Ministries Team.

Our 2012 luncheon will be on Friday, June 8 at the Convention Center in Corpus Christi.  Our principal speaker will be Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the UMC General Board of Church and Society.  The theme for this year’s luncheon is “Growth Through Justice”.

Our SWTX Chapter is also planning to once again sponsor an exhibit that will include MFSA information, an expanded display of the Shower of Stoles, and our traditional book fair.

We Need Your Books!  

For the past few years, our MFSA chapter has been collecting gently used religious and spiritual books from our members and

friends, and offering them for sale/donation at our Annual Conference booth.  We will do that again this year if we can collect enough books, so clean out your closets or shelves and bring them to chapter meetings.  Or contact Rowland Curry ( if you need for us to pick them up.  The deadline is June 3.