If the United Methodist Church recognizes that their law is “fundamentally unjust,”
then they should just change it and let this dedicated and talented minister continue to serve. What hypocrisy and utter nonsense!
The UMC is, in fact, going through a “process of discernment” similar to that which the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) went through prior to its “full inclusion” vote last year.
Reconciling Methodist congregations are involved in the process – and there will be representation and participation by Reconciling members in engaging the larger church community over the next two years.
Frustrating as I find this long hashing-out of what seems to me an obvious inequity, I’m confident that “church law” will be changed – and that Pastor DeLong will receive a mild scolding fat worst.
Worth noting: Wisconsin was the first state in the U.S. to enact a gay rights non-discrimination law. Seems as though this will prove to be another step forward, once all is said and done.
@ The Rev JRB
Yes but still…a mild scolding fat worst sounds kinda painful all the same!
Contrary to TEC or ELCA. the UMC is a worldwide church with strongly growing conservative membership in the South,more or less stable conservative and consistently decreasing liberal membership in the United States. Those rules can only be changed by a General Conference, and there the liberal delegates get more and more outnumbered.
I gave up my ordination in the UMC after 2 decades of ministry when I came to terms with my sexuality. I don’t judge those who live with don’t ask/don’t tell, but found it unhealthy emotionally and spiritually. It was clear that even bishops who have taken strong public stands for the GLBT community would put an opening gay “praciticing homosexual” ( the UMC’s legal term) on trail and take thier ordination anyway. The leadership are cowards when they say what they know is right, but refuse to “break the church law” because of the risk to their own careers and the money coming from the more conservative members, who make up a majority in the southest USA where the UMC is the strongest.
Here in Canada, the United Church (an amalgum of Methodist, Prebyterian and Congregationalist churches formed in 1925) has allowed GLBT folk full access to all aspects of life in the church including the ministry. Its one of the many things that make me glad I live north of the 49th parallel.
Looks like a relatively liberal leadership frightened of being roasted by reactionary congregations. Commoner in the churches than we suspect, I think.