On June 9, 2022, the Clergy Session of the Florida Annual Conference met to approve the recommendations of our Board of Ministry for persons who had met the qualifications to be licensed, commissioned and ordained. The 55–member Board of Ministry works with the candidates over a multi-year process and then brings recommendations to the clergy session for approval. Your pastor, Kipp Nelson, was one of those being recommended for commissioning.
For the class of 16 persons who were recommended for commissioning, the clergy session voted on the group as a whole, which has been its common practice. Due to two of those candidates identifying as part of the LGBTQ community, including Pastor Kipp, and in light of the United Methodist Church’s current conflict over same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ persons, a protest vote was made that resulted in all of the 16 persons being disapproved for commissioning.
Please be aware of the grief and disappointment your pastor is experiencing during this season. Also, please know how much support there is for Pastor Kipp and for a more inclusive future for United Methodism. To be clear, your pastor will remain appointed to your church. And though the clergy session did not approve your pastor’s commissioning this year, he has passed all of the requirements for credentialing in the eyes of the Board of Ministry. We celebrate with you his many gifts for ministry and his leadership among you. We invite you to be in prayer for the way God will continue to work in and through Pastor Kipp during this season.