That’s right - this is a time for “thoughtful questions” as we “learn more about this issue.”
19 February 2014
Dear members and friends of Grace Church:
For the past few months I have been talking with your priest, Greg Fry, after he revealed to me his awareness that he is transgender. I want to share with you my thoughts about what this situation means for Grace Church and Greg.
I have known Greg and his wife Lisa ever since we all attended Virginia Theological Seminary. I have respected and valued the ministries that they both bring to the church. In fact, I ordained Lisa as a priest as she began her work at St. Mark’s Church in Little Rock.
The issue of being transgendered is not one with which many of us are knowledgeable. I have learned much since working with Greg and another transgender priest in Arkansas, as well as my encounters with other transgender members of the clergy throughout the larger church. It is an issue centered on a person’s gender identity; it is not an issue of sexual orientation/attraction. My hope is that we can spend our time in the coming weeks asking questions and becoming knowledgeable about the issue. Good and thoughtful questions always precede any decisions about long-term ministry.
I continue to value Greg’s presence among all of you at Grace Church. he continues to be a faithful pastor. He and Lisa will be working on the next phase of their lives simultaneously with our working on learning more about this issue and how it is lived out in Greg’s life.
With every best wish I remain
Larry R. Benfield
Bishop of Arkansas