Reconciling Ministries Network celebrates with great joy the election of the first openly lesbian bishop in The United Methodist Church (The UMC). This is an historic moment in the movement of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) persons for spiritual and civil equality both in the church and the public square. The election of Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, CA breaks through anti-LGBTQ law in The UMC and carries queer people to the highest levels of church leadership. Officially barred from so many churches and positions of spiritual leadership, queer persons may now see themselves as leaders of the body of Christ in the largest mainline protestant denomination in the United States.
Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto brings a treasure trove of experience from both the academy and the church to the office of bishop. A lifelong United Methodist and ordained elder, she pastored local churches while earning degrees from Drew University and later she led congregations in the San Francisco Bay area including Glide Memorial Church in the Tenderloin district. In addition, she taught students at the Pacific School of Religion as an adjunct professor and filled numerous positions within United Methodist denominational agencies. She has served several terms as a board member of Reconciling Ministries Network and currently is on the Advisory Board of The Forum for Theological Education. Her passion, intellect, and skill are widely recognized and admired as is her ability to articulate a vision of mission and ministry at the intersection of faith and social justice.
Source: Reconciling Ministries Network