Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

Your recent article about the Chilmark Community Church (Chilmark Congregation Seeks To Leave the Methodist Church, August 24, 2023) seems to imply that most United Methodist churches are intolerant toward LGBTQ+ persons and that for this reason the Chilmark Community Church has sought disaffiliation from the UMC denomination.

While I cannot speak to the pending lawsuit, nor can I speak for the New England Annual Conference regarding this matter, I would like to clarify that the United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard (Oak Bluffs) is a welcoming congregation to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, physical ability, age,or any of the other categories that people might use to divide and separate. We welcome all people into beloved community, and have done so for many years before I was appointed here on July 1.

Rev. Joanne Hus, pastor,

United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard

Oak Bluffs