The first openly gay bishop for the United Methodist Church is waiting to hear whether she can keep her job.
The church's judicial council is debating the validity of Rev. Karen Oliveto election because of her sexuality. She is based in Denver and is in charge of churches in five states.
The decision could come down later this week.
Oliveto was previously scheduled to speak at the Iliff School of Theology before she flew to New Jersey for the judicial council hearing Tuesday. It's been an emotional time and she didn't know if the tears would stop long enough for her to preach at the Wednesday morning service.
Oliveto is a bishop for now, but that title may get taken away less than a year since her appointment.
"We are in a waiting time," she told the congregation.
Although there are headlines about her splashed across newspapers and televisions screens, she said this isn't new.
"One, I'm glad it says 'first openly gay bishop' because I'm not the first gay bishop. There have been other gay bishops. There have been other gay clergy, but they've had to serve in silence," she said.
Oliveto is honest about who she is even though Methodist church doctrine states she's wrong. She says her struggle helps people of other backgrounds, not just LGBT, gain confidence and acceptance.
"I am not dirty, I am not a good for nothing, I am not untrustworthy, and I am not sick," Oliveto told the congregation of about 150.
In 1972, the church added a clause stating clergy cannot be "self-avowed practicing homosexuals."
"That line isn't of God," she said.
Not everyone agrees including the people who complained about her election which sent the matter to the church's equivalent of the Supreme Court. She acknowledged people have left the church because of her.
"Some people say to me, 'I can't believe you got elected,'" she said.
Since that time, she's received 18 letters from people upset she's in charge of 400 churches, but hundreds more letters of support.
Oliveto doesn't know what the Methodist judicial council will decide and said she will keep doing what she loves for now with her wife Robin by her side.
"I'm going to be a bishop. That's what God has called me to do and I'm going to keep doing that until it is no longer my time to do that," she said.
Thirty-two United Methodist Church members appointed by the bishops plan to meet in February 2019 to discuss homosexuality including the clause banning openly gay clergy. This is the only group that can speak for the denomination and change or eliminate wording in church rules.