Proposal for a Just Resolution
Rev. Michael Tupper and Rev. John Boley
This Just Resolution agreement results from a complaint submitted by Rev. John Boley against the Rev. Michael Tupper for conducting a same-gender wedding ceremony on August 17, 2014. After receiving this complaint Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey conducted a supervisory response in this matter under the provisions of the Book of Discipline 2012 (¶363).
As a result of the Supervisory Response process conducted by Bishop Kiesey, the persons signing this document have entered into the following Just Resolution agreement:
1) Rev. Tupper acknowledges that he knowingly and intentionally violated two sections of the 2012 Book of Discipline, as an act of personal faith and conscience, and acknowledges that others may have felt hurt by his action.
2) Rev. Tupper, who desires to remain a part of the clergy covenant in the West Michigan Conference, will work with his clergy colleagues by using the proper channels toward changing the discriminatory language and provisions in our Book of Discipline, while continuing to advocate for the LGBTQ community within the United Methodist Church and providing pastoral care to all people under his appointment.
3) Rev. Tupper will work with the Michigan Area Episcopal Office and Ed Rowe to form a design team with clergy and lay persons from across the Michigan Area, including LGBTQ persons. The team is charged with planning, implementing and resourcing an area-wide series of events using a “Truth and Reconciliation” model at which LGBTQ and other interested United Methodists can have a safe place to tell their stories. These events will have the stated goal of reducing our church’s harmful rhetoric and actions toward LGBTQ persons. These events will be planned to occur over the next 18 months.
4) Rev. Tupper will develop a written theological statement which accurately presents the several existing theological positions within the context of the West Michigan Conference and includes his personal theological conclusions about the position he has chosen for himself.
5) Rev. Tupper will avail himself of every opportunity presented to him to tell the story of his spiritual journey as an act of witness, and will offer his services as a resource to help our churches be more welcoming and inclusive.
6) Each of the parties to this Just Resolution Agreement agree that the terms of this resolution may be shared with the public as needed. Further, they agree that they will not disclose the content of any other conversations which may have taken place during the Supervisory Response Process or speak on behalf of any other party to the agreement.
7) This Just Resolution, having been agreed to by all parties, shall be a final disposition of the complaint in this matter.
Rev. Michael Tupper
Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey
Date: Nov 11, 2014