Frank Schaefer loses ministerial credentials

_MG_0971_550Both the Associated Press and United Methodist News Service are reporting that Frank Schaefer no longer holds the title, “Reverend.”

Schaefer met today with the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, and after a brief meeting, walked out without comment and without his credentials.

Schaefer had been found guilty last November of violating church law by performing the same-gender wedding ceremony for his son and another man. That wedding occurred in 2006. The trial court suspended Schaefer for 30 days to decide if he could uphold the United Methodist Book of Discipline in its entirety.

“Rev. Schaefer met with the Board of Ordained Ministry today and declared that he is not willing or able to uphold the laws of the Book of Discipline in its entirety in the future as required by the trial court’s verdict,” said Bishop Peggy Johnson, episcopal leader of the conference.

Johnson said when asked to surrender his credentials, Schaefer refused to do so. The board then deemed his credentials surrendered, she said.

In the past few days, Schaefer has said repeatedly that he would not surrender his credentials. On Monday, Dec. 16, at a press conference held at the Arch Street UMC in Philadelphia, Schaefer reiterated this stand because, he said, he feels called to be in ministry with all people, especially the LGBTQ community.

Erik Alsgaard, UMR Correspondent

Erik Alsgaard

UMR Correspondent The Rev. Erik Alsgaard is a member of the Detroit Conference, on loan to the Baltimore-Washington Conference, serving in the Ministry of Communications there as Editor of the UMConnection newspaper.

Facebook Twitter 

Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "Frank Schaefer loses ministerial credentials"

applications-education-miscellaneous.png
The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
BHH
Guest
Bishop Johnson has done nothing but her job. She has expressed no personal stance on this and has gone right down the middle. Shame on all of you attacking her because the trial did not turn out the way you wanted it. It amazes me how many of you cry about being “hated” or “mistreated” yet the first opportunity you get you lash out at others with hate. Nothing but hypocrites. I bet you all had a hit list ready of who to drag through the mud once a verdict came in that you did not like. I am amazed… Read more »
Jay
Guest

BHH, the blood that is on people’s hands is the blood of gay and lesbian youth who have been pushed to suicide by attitudes expressed in this denomination.

Jay
Guest

Just a journalistic point. The headline makes it sound as though Reverend Schaefer just misplaced the credentials or just dropped them on the way to work. A more proper headline would be “Bishop Johnson and her kangaroo court strips Reverend Schaefer of his credentials.”

Wes Andrews
Guest

Actually a better headline: “Rev. Shaefer Shows Respect for the UMC by Relinquishing His Credentials”

Jay
Guest

Except your suggested headline would be a lie. Reverend Schaefer did NOT relinquish his credentials.

Jay
Guest

Frank Shaefer will always be a “reverend” to me. His courage gives me some hope, but I have written a letter of resignation to my own pastor. Although I am happy with my own congregation, I can no longer be a member of a denomination that treats gay people as second-class citizens and persecutes pastors who minister to them.

As for Bishop Johnson, she was following orders. (I think we’ve heard that excuse before.)

Frank
Guest
This issue has the potential to split the Methodist Church. Like it or not, agree with it or not, marriage equality is going to happen. In another generation or two it is not going to be a big deal at all. Societal progress and/or change cannot be stopped. It can only be fought, ameliorated, and possibly delayed. Slavery is ended, women vote, drive, and own property, civil rights are the law of the land, Social Security and Medicare are entrenched, etc, etc. The minimum wage will drastically change, a national health plan of some sort will become as entrenched as… Read more »
shelby
Guest

Bring on the split and be done with all this conversation. The vitriol does nothing more than continue to broaden the split-that–in theory–has already taken place.

Wes Andrews
Guest
The Roman Catholic church has been right all along. Only God defines marriage. People might have a civil wedding, but that is really not Biblical marriage. So the culture can say anything it wants to about marriage or sexuality, but in most cases the culture has been dead WRONG about sexuality. For generations the culture embraced slavery (even our Supreme Court) and it was dead wrong about that. For a generation the culture has tolerated the sacrifice of unborn children through abortion, but it is WRONG about that. And as the culture embraces definitions of marriage that are contrary to… Read more »
Frank
Guest
Yes, the culture can say anything. And a religious denomination can rightly be counter-cultural. If counter-cultural pulpit lessons result in the congregants following the church dogma, then all the laws and court decisions with which the denomination disagrees are of no consequence. But if the congregants follow the culture rather than adhere to the pulpit admonitions, then it is wrong for the denomination to entreat the government to do the enforcement for them via laws and edicts. That is a theocracy. The original settlers to this great country were fleeing just such a thing. Counter-culturalism is successful only through belief,… Read more »
Jason
Guest

Except that marriage is NOT defined by any church, otherwise no Jew or Muslim or atheist would have ever been married. Marriage is a civil institution, not a religious one, no matter that many are performed in churches. The sooner that churches get out of the way of equality, the less backlash they will suffer… and the backlash IS inevitable.

d
Guest

If marriage was only a civil institution, “Why is the emphasis on marriage equality, representation and the need for a pastor to bless the union so coveted?”

In the Christian Community marriage is defined by the church.
It is the Christian Church that decides who and what to recognize as a union.

Thomas Coates
Guest

With “allies” like Bishop Johnson, who needs Good News or IRD?

Rev Robert P Hall
Guest
These personal attacks on Bishop Johnson are offensive. Read your Discipline. We are an episcopal church and it is one of the duties of a Bishop to uphold our Tradition and principles. Those who know Bishop Johnson know that she has done this extremely well over the past six years and that this area would be in worse shape without her. I may or may not agree with Brother Schaefer. But I know that the Bishop’s handling of this situation was without prejudice or malice. Brother Schaefer had to know the possible outcome of his acts. When my State–Delaware–legalized same-sex… Read more »
MethodistPie
Guest

I believe Bishop Johnson has been treated very shabbily through this. From what I’ve read she’s simply doing her job. She has tried to be even-handed and conciliatory, only to have her words distorted. By all indications, she tried to keep this pastor “connected.” He had a choice to make. He made it. Don’t blame her.

wpDiscuz
Google+
%d bloggers like this: