Bishop McKee Respectfully Withdraws From Lights for Liberty Event


Earlier this month, I was approached by local organizers of a worldwide event called Lights for Liberty. I was most attracted to the interfaith nature of Friday night’s vigil designed to shed light on the atrocities taking place along our southern border and looked forward to participating.

The focus, though, has dramatically changed in the last two days. What originally was intended to be a peaceful gathering instead has morphed into a politically charged, activist event that is antithetical not only to my vision for how best to pursue social justice but also to who we are as United Methodists.

Because of these deviations from the initial program, I have decided to respectfully withdraw from my speaking opportunity along with other faith-based leaders who also were scheduled to take part. While it is critical to bring awareness to this justice issue, we must do so in an environment that amplifies solutions instead of casts blame.

Please join me in continued prayer for the people – especially the children – who are enduring inhumane treatment in detention at our border. Look for information about how to take faithful and prophetic action in the weeks to come.


Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Added by Becky Roper Motley

I respect your wisdom and judgment in leading us all.
Added by Brian McPherson, Good Shepherd UMC

Thank You for your integrity, Bishop. When I saw the line up of speakers (excepting you) I determined not to go, as it was taking a political turn that I too felt that solutions were not going to be forthcoming, only vitriol and blame. Thank you for you leadership and blessings in your ministry.
I pray for you and our churches. Lord, give us light to share and not rocks to throw.
Added by Elizabeth Cathey Maxson

Thank you, sir for your leadership and guidance in this situation!
Added by Debbie Dillon

Thank you for your prayerful discernmemt regarding participation in and support of this event.
Added by Molly Mayo Tampke

I, too appreciate your leadership--and your wise words. And I agree with your observations. I had really looked forward to going, but have changed my mind. I'm looking for unity and solidarity, not name-calling and, as Brian McPerson says, vitriol and blame.
Added by Lisa Radspinner

I'm disappointed but appreciate your clearly worded statement of explanation. We must all choose the social injustices to address. Perhaps someday they will align.
Added by Bill Mefford

I will be going to the Lights of Liberty event tonight because immigrants are the focal point of state-sponsored terror and when they are terrorized I have no choice to be in solidarity, even when I may be a little uncomfortable.
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