Female Methodist pastor admits she's gay during church service, stunning worshippers

Nobody was prepared for Pastor Cynthia Meyer's coming out declaration during the Edgerton United Methodist Church's first sermon this 2016, but the 53-year-old Kansas pastor decided then that it was the best time for her to serve "with full authenticity and as my genuine self—as a woman who loves and shares my life with another woman."

"My decision to speak out and do that through a sermon for my congregation came long before the 'It's Time' campaign," she told the United Methodist News Service. "I'd say it's been a calling on my heart for quite some time."

The campaign Meyer was referring to was launched last December by the Reconciling Ministries Network, a group that strives to bring together people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the UM church.

Meyer risks being sacked because of her pronouncement, but she insists that her conscience is clear because she keeps "faith with the church by challenging it to keep faith with the Gospel."

"I'm a woman of God sharing my life with another Jesus-following woman. We, like you, are made in God's image... Some who have been biding our time now proclaim our truth," she said. "We're done being victims of an unfaithful system. Now we're activists for the redemption of the UMC, for the love of all God's beloved children, for the love of God. It's my time now. Forty years I prepared, pondered, prayed, and wandered."

Conservative Methodists, on the other hand, are not condoning Meyer's vocal support of same-sex relationships and marriages.

They wrote: "We simply cannot abandon the Bible's teachings on the practice of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Your proposal would put us, who believe that same-sex relations are sinful, in the position of having to deny our consciences. This new policy is simply asking us to do something we cannot do."