Methodist pastor suspended 30 days for son's wedding

UPDATED:
The Methodist pastor found guilty in the case of presiding at his son's wedding has been received the news of the penalty that will be imposed. Philly.com reports:

A United Methodist minister from Southeastern Pennsylvania who was convicted under church law of officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding in Massachusetts will be suspended for 30 days.

The same jury of pastors that convicted the Rev. Frank Schaefer on Monday of breaking his vows suspended him from his ministerial duties for 30 days Tuesday. His credentials will be revoked if he violates church rules during that time.

Schaefer told jurors he is unrepentant for the 2007 marriage and refused to promise he wouldn’t perform more gay unions. He says he has been called by God to be an advocate for the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people

.

The Huffington Post recaps the complaint, trial, punishment and reaction:

(Schaefer said) The church "needs to stop judging people based on their sexual orientation," he told jurors. "We have to stop the hate speech. We have to stop treating them as second-class Christians."

After the jury pronounced its sentence, Schaefer's supporters began overturning chairs in the courtroom — symbolizing the biblical story of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers — and held an impromptu communion service

.

The Washington Post, also with a lengthly account, included this:

“This is an effort to push out people who are in ministry with gay and lesbian people. It’s very sad,” said the Rev. Dean Snyder, the longtime pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church in Dupont Circle, who came from Washington with 10 congregants. Snyder has performed more than 20 same-sex weddings but has never had a complaint filed against him.
Comments (4)

That man is a hero after the fashion of Jesus who also rejected those who propped up the law for the laws sake. I'm sure he's also a loving father.

Ever since this case came to light, I've had a suspicion that the hand of the IRD could be felt (if not seen). I'm glad the sentence was a light one, but very unhappy there was a sentence (even a trial) at all!

Sounds like a slap on the pinkie suggesting that at least Methodists in southeast Pennsylvania are sympathetic to his cause.

Perhaps pro-gay rights Methodists ought to follow John Wesley's example and take to the fields. Or better, just come home to Mother Church.

Schaefer was also asked to surrender his ministerial credentials after the thirty-day suspension if he still refused to comply with the Book of Discipline's ban on performing same-sex weddings, so the punishment isn't as light as it appears. By refusing to revoke Schaefer's credentials outright, the Judicial Council displayed real cowardice, and just proves how much of a miscarriage of justice this whole trial was. The UM Reporter has a good write-up of how things will play out: http://unitedmethodistreporter.com/2013/11/19/schaefer-jury-30-day-suspension-possible-surrender/

Joshua Rodriguez

Add your comments

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Reminder: At Episcopal Café, we hope to establish an ethic of transparency by requiring all contributors and commentators to make submissions under their real names. For more details see our Feedback Policy.

Advertising Space