Sexual orientation and homosexual behavior are issues more and more pastors and local churches find themselves having to address directly, as a rising generation questions and debates social ethics and moral values in an atmosphere of increasing ambivalence and hostility toward evangelical Christian viewpoints. Therefore, the Board of General Superintendents released a Pastoral Letter on Homosexuality to respond to the need of Wesleyan leaders for guidance shaped by the Church's high view of Scripture, as well as its unique theological, historical and practical perspectives. The document was written by Dr. Jerry Pence, in consultation with Drs. Jo Anne Lyon and Thomas Armiger. Their intention is to encourage Wesleyans to use balanced, biblical reflection as the basis for compassionate ministry to those who are or have been homosexual, as well as those whose lives are impacted by the decisions and actions of gay or lesbian friends, relatives or neighbors—all in pursuit of The Wesleyan Church's mission to spread hope and holiness that transform lives.