Rev. Cynthia Meyer, leader of the Edgerton United Methodist Church in Edgerton, Kansas, came out to her congregation on Jan. 3, revealing a 25-year relationship. Meyer is the former Assistant Dean of Students for the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

During the sermon, Meyer stated: “The Lord has led me here, to share my deep truth with you. It’s time.”

“I’m a woman of God sharing my life with another Jesus-following woman. We, like you, are made in God’s image,” wrote Meyer on the Reconciling Ministries Network website.

In one of the sermon’s most heartfelt and descriptive moments, Meyer explains how coming out has given her the ability to not only relate to her parishioners on a deeper level but to be honest about the company she keeps, which is something most straight couples take for granted.

“I could stop saying I’m going on vacation with a ‘friend. I could use the great sermon illustrations that come from ordinary day-to-day life as a couple. I could stop pretending to live alone. I could stop denying who I proudly, faithfully am, and who I proudly, faithfully love.”

Pink News reports, the United Methodist Church does not currently allow openly gay clergy or same-sex marriage-meaning Rev. Meyer is taking a huge gamble with her future by speaking out.

“It’s well past time for the denomination to change, and it’s my time to speak out as a part of that change coming to fruition,” said Meyer. “It’s soul-crushing to speak to my congregation each week about God’s love for them as they are, while being unable to speak of my own God-given identity, my loving relationship, and much of my day-to-day life.”

The United Methodist Church body is expected to address openly gay clergy within its ranks during their annual conference in May.

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