Saturday, July 09, 2011

Methodists Ignore Own Rules re: Lesbian Pastor

Homosexualist clergy in mainline denominations regularly challenge the rules to demonstrate that the denomination leadership doesn't "have what it takes" to enforce their own codified church discipline.

-- From "The Trial of Pastor Amy DeLong: Methodism and Same-Sex Unions" by Justin Horwath, Time Magazine 7/1/11

The Rev. Amy DeLong, a Methodist pastor from Osceola, Wisconsin, decided to come clean. She brought to the attention of her local bishop that she had officiated over the same-sex union of a lesbian couple. It is a rite prohibited by her religion and having performed it, DeLong could be put on trial by the church. She also told the bishop that she might as well be prosecuted for something else: she is in a lesbian partnership.

And so, last week, DeLong, 44, faced a jury of church elders in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. At issue was whether she violated the Book of Discipline, which guides the church's teachings, by blessing the same sex union and for being a "self avowed, practicing homosexual." The 13-member jury acquitted her on the second charge. But it also found her guilty of the first. But that's where something historic happened. The elders handed down the first sentence in 20 years of United Methodist jurisprudence that did not indefinitely suspend or defrock an elder for officiating a same-sex union.

Instead, DeLong's sentence is a 20-day suspension . . .

She is pleased with the ruling. "They certainly had every opportunity to be punitive and throw the book at me," she says.

The most startling part of the sentence, DeLong says, is that she has kept her clergy credentials.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Lesbian pastor begins suspension" by Jaclyn E. Martin, World Magazine 7/1/11

“The suspension is for spiritual discernment,” the jury’s ruling said, with the goal being “to restore the broken clergy-covenant relationship.”

Delong finds herself among a growing but still small number of pastors in the United Methodist Church who have said that in spite of the church rule, they will marry same-sex couples. But other church officials defend the Bible’s teachings that homosexuality is an “abomination.

Delong’s suspension reflects a degree of leniency compared to previous decisions in the United Methodist Church. A senior pastor in Omaha, Neb., was defrocked in 1999 for performing a same-sex union.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Renegade Methodist Clergy for Same-sex 'Marriage'

Allah Worshiped in Virginia Methodist Church

Methodist Seminary Trains Pluralistic Clergy

Methodists Team Up with Atheists for Bible Study