Frank Schaefer, the United Methodist pastor from the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference (EPAC) facing a church trial later in the month for presiding at the marriage of his gay son, is not the first clergy person to defend his actions at EPAC’s Camp Innabah. Almost exactly 9 years ago, the Rev. Irene Elizabeth “Beth” Stroud of Philadelphia was given a clergy trial in the same location to respond to a charge that she violated church law by being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” On December 2,2004 Stroud was found guilty and her ministerial credentials were withdrawn.
The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story today reviewing Stroud’s trial and catching up with her today. Throughout the piece she reflects on the Schaefer trial:
What is encouraging, she said, is seeing the church’s doctrine being challenged by a pastor from a conservative congregation with less progressive views on homosexuality than her former church in Germantown.
“I stepped into a long process,” she said. “And this is another step in that long process. That’s really affirming.”
Click on the link above to read the full story.