Friday, March 27, 2015

A Letter from Disciples Clergy in the Northwest

(Despite an exhortation from my denominational leaders--as well as prominent voices in a variety of fields--Governor Pence quietly signed SB 101 (the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act") into law in a private ceremony in his office yesterday.  In response to this, I circulated the following letter among Disciples clergy in my region to send on to our General Minister and President, Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins.  That letter was sent to her electronically this morning.  It is also not too late to add your voice to it--please feel free to do so in the comments section of this post if you are so moved--please include your name, job title, and town/city and state.  God is forever on the side of the persecuted.  ~E.A.)

To Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, Rev. Todd Adams, and All Whom It May Concern:

Dear Colleagues:

We, like you, have been following the passage and signature of SB 101 (the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”) in Indiana with both great attention and great concern.

We were all extremely heartened and encouraged to read your open letter to Governor Pence on the denomination’s website, urging a veto of SB 101 on threat of considering moving the 2017 General Assembly out of Indianapolis.  Thank you from all of us for writing it.

Now that SB 101 has been signed, we, the undersigned pastors serving and/or residing in the Northwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offer you our spiritual and moral support to make good on that ultimatum.

Some of us identify as gay or lesbian, and all of us minister to—and serve alongside—gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters in Christ, and we feel we could not in good Christian conscience ask them to attend a General Assembly at a venue where they could be legally discriminated against in such a manner.

Please move the 2017 General Assembly away from Indianapolis to an alternate host city. Thank you.


Eric Atcheson
Senior Pastor, First Christian Church
Longview, WA

Robert Brooks
Senior Pastor, First Christian Church
Kent, WA

Joan Dennehy
Seattle, WA

Marvin Eckfeldt
Kent, WA

Liv Gibbons
Senior Pastor, Northwest United Protestant Church
Richland, WA

Nancy Gowler Johnson
Senior Pastor, First Christian Church
Puyallup, WA

Adam Harmon
Senior Pastor, University Christian Church
Seattle, WA

Sandy Messick
Regional Minister and President, Northwest Region, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Federal Way, WA

J.C. Mitchell
Senior Pastor, Open Gathering
Bellevue, WA

Monica Myers Greenberg
Senior Pastor, Northwest Christian Church
Seattle, WA

Rochelle Richards
Senior Pastor, First Christian Church
Sumner, WA

Laurie Rudel
Senior Pastor, Queen Anne Christian Church
Seattle, WA

Gary Shoemaker
Senior Pastor, First Christian Church
Bellingham, WA

Luke & Rebecca Sumner
Pastors, Everett Christian Church
Everett, WA

Kate Sweet
Chaplain, UW Medicine
Seattle, WA

Amy Walters
Senior Pastor, First Christian Church
Olympia, WA


  1. Marvin Eckfeldt
    Kent, WA

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Rev. Adam Harmon
    University Christian Church
    Seattle, WA