PRESS RELEASE: The United Methodist Church Continues to Inflict Spiritual Carnage

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 1:12 am

POTTSTOWN, PA – November 19, 2013- Last night, a trial court of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) has found Rev. Frank Schaefer guilty of officiating the marriage of his son, Tim, to another man in 2006. Tonight, that same trial court returned a verdict in the penalty phase. Rev. Schaefer will be placed on a 30-day administrative leave. During that leave he is instructed to discern his ministry with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community and report if he can follow the denomination’s Book of Discipline in its entirety or surrender his clergy credentials.

“Once again The United Methodist Church has inflicted spiritual carnage on LGBTQ persons, their families, and those who are in ministry with them,” states Chett Pritchett, Executive Director of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA).  “Through a method that seeks to do harm at every point in the process, the UMC has chosen retribution instead of the biblical concepts of transformation, wholeness, and shalom.”

Speaking on his own behalf, Rev. Schaefer informed the court of his evolving calling to be in ministry with LGBTQ persons: “I cannot go back to being a silent supporter. I must continue to be in ministry with all people.”

After the trial court was dismissed, Rev. Schaefer’s supporters began a visual witness by turning over metal chairs and singing hymns. Within minutes communion elements were prepared, blessed, and shared among those who remained in the camp gymnasium.

“May this be a sign to LGBTQ persons everywhere that beyond the harmful words of a trial court decision, there are faithful United Methodists who will continue to be in ministry with you,” Pritchett states. “And may this be a sign to clergy who seek to be in ministry with LGBTQ people that your ministry is supported by faithful United Methodists.”

Since 1907, the Methodist Federation for Social Action has worked to mobilize, lead, and sustain a progressive movement, energizing people to be agents of God’s justice, peace, and reconciliation. As an independent, faith-based organization, MFSA leads both Church and society on issues of peace, poverty, people’s rights, progressive issues, and justice within The United Methodist Church.

 

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One Response to “PRESS RELEASE: The United Methodist Church Continues to Inflict Spiritual Carnage”

  1. Rev. Barbara Grace Ripple Says:

    Our prayers are for Rev. Schaefer, who placed God's law of love above the Book of Discipline's law of exclusion.  Revs. Babs Ripple and Samuel Cox

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