A message from GLIDE’s leadership concerning the legal challenge from the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church

On Tuesday, December 11, the California-Nevada Annual Conference (CNAC) of The United Methodist Church (UMC), along with its Presiding Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, filed a lawsuit against GLIDE that seeks to gain control over the organization and its assets.

We are disappointed by the Bishop’s decision to escalate our differences into a legal matter for the courts, but not surprised. Bishop Carcaño’s attempts over the past year to reform GLIDE’s church into a more religiously conservative organization have been met with resistance across the GLIDE community and she has proved unwilling to commit to an amicable and constructive dialogue to find a suitable compromise despite repeated overtures.

Bishop Carcaño’s and the CNAC’s decision to pursue litigation undermines a decades-long partnership between GLIDE and the CNAC and is counter to the interests of the people we serve, our congregants and the City of San Francisco.

We are also deeply concerned that the CNAC and Bishop Carcaño are willing to jeopardize the important work we do every day serving the most vulnerable members of our society, including those suffering homelessness, hunger, illness, discrimination and marginalization.

For over fifty years, GLIDE has addressed the most critical needs of San Francisco and shaped our city’s values. At a time of growing inequality and need, GLIDE is actively expanding our efforts, providing more help to more people and serving as an even greater resource for our community. The Bishop and CNAC’s actions are a threat to these efforts and to the critical safety net that GLIDE provides to San Francisco and its most vulnerable citizens.

The suit alleges that GLIDE is not fulfilling the original intent of Lizzie Glide when she established the GLIDE Foundation in 1929. In the past, Bishop Carcaño indicated that our willingness to welcome people of all faiths and belief systems to our Sunday Celebration service is inconsistent with her ideas of Methodism.

We strongly disagree. Lizzie Glide, as her great-great-granddaughter and Glide Trustee Mary Glide reminds us, “felt a strong call to serve others with compassion when Lizzie founded GLIDE almost 90 years ago.” We agree with Mary that her great-great-grandmother “would be proud of the inclusive, loving work we’re doing today, and saddened by the actions of the CNAC.”

Over the past year, GLIDE’s Board of Trustees has taken important steps to protect the organization, our diverse community, and the intent of our donors. We will continue to take all necessary steps to secure and protect the resources that serve our mission and to avoid entanglement with the financial challenges and divisions within the CNAC.

We remain committed to GLIDE’s mission and values of unconditional love and radical inclusivity, and we will continue to forge ahead in our efforts to fight for justice, to serve those in need and to inspire our community.

To fund the defense related to this lawsuit, GLIDE has established a special legal fund. This will ensure that donations to our programs and services are protected and directed as they were intended—to serve those most in need.

Thank you for your continued support of our community. Together, we are a mighty force for love and positive change in this world. And we know that love prevails.

Karen Hanrahan, President and CEO
Rita Shimmin, Executive Director
Board of Trustees of the GLIDE Foundation:
Kaye Foster, Chairperson
Crickette Brown Glad
John Philip Coghlan
Paula R. Collins
Lars Dalgaard
Amy Errett
Paul M. Fleming
Erby L. Foster, Jr.
Mary Glide
Nicole Harris
Christopher Lord
Shireen McSpadden
Janice Mirikitani
Laura Thompson
Michael L. Warren
Rev. Cecil Williams
Phillip Zackler

# # # #