Bishop Carcaño invites Frank Schaefer to serve in Cal-Pac Conference

Photo by Paul Jeffrey

Photo by Paul Jeffrey

Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the Los Angeles Episcopal Area announced yesterday that she has invited Frank Schaefer to serve in ministry in the California-Pacific Annual Conference. Schaefer was removed from ministry in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference last week as a penalty for conducting the same-sex wedding service of his son.

In a statement published on the California-Pacific Annual Conference website, Carcaño said that she was following in the spirit of Bishop Gerald Kennedy who had brought 8 Mississippi Methodist pastors out west during the civil rights battles of the 1960’s when they were being criticized and attacked for standing against racial discrimination. Carcaño stated that she had offered the invitation to Schaefer with the support of his current bishop, Peggy Johnson.

Carcaño did not articulate a specific appointment, and said that she and Schaefer, along with his family, were entering into a time of discernment regarding the possible move to California.

Carcaño acknowledged that she held no power to reinstate Schaefer’s ministerial credentials. “Only a board of ordained ministry can recommend such a reinstatement of credentials, and only the ordained clergy of an annual conference can determine whether a person will be credentialed for ordained ministry,” she wrote. “What I can do, however, is invite and welcome others to love and serve Christ Jesus among us, accompany those who choose to be faithful, and exhort us all to be biblically obedient. This I will do for as long as God gives me breath.”

“I believe that the time has come for we United Methodists to stand on the side of Jesus and declare in every good way that the United Methodist Church is wrong in its position on homosexuality,” Carcaño wrote.  “Frank Schaefer chose to stand with Jesus as he extended love and care to his gay son and his partner. We should stand with him and others who show such courage and faithfulness.”

Click here to read Bishop Carcaño’s full statement.

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is a Contributing Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay also serves as the Sr. Pastor of the City Road United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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  1. MethodistPie says:

    Holding General Conference 2016 in the Western Jurisdiction sets the table for still more chaos and recrimination. If we felt we had to move the 2012 meeting out of Richmond, because of the name of their baseball team, does not the disregard of the Western Jurisdiction for the General Conference itself invite consideration of an alternate site?

  2. Bishop Carcano, To be “Biblically obedient” we must obey the Word of God; not allow our doctrine to be perverted by the ultra-liberal PC crowd. The Book of Discipline is “Biblically obedient” in defining homosexual practice as inconsistent with Christian teaching.

    • I just feel the Bible talks about it very clearly. Maybe these books were not discussed, or read by them. I think it would be proper for all Methodists who agree on gay marriage, should be allowed to move to the great state of California. This is something that has been coming for a long time. It is time to split the denomination, because we will NEVER agree.

  3. Does she plan on giving him his orders back? Or will he serve as a lay pastor? Another Bishop out of control!!

  4. As a Certified Lay Minister in he Methodist church I do not stand with Frank Schaefer as the very Book of Discipline I choose and pledged to uphold Frank decides to challenge it. We in the church do not have the right to stand against the Discipline w/o first taking it to the Conference.(church government). Since it already has come the Conference and the the Discipline stood the vote, the matter is closed and no one has the right to go against it for his or her own beliefs. Frank will not support the Discipline, so he should not be allowed to preach except as a visiting speaker. Jesus would not have advocated blowing off the rules but support them and go about the matter another way. Such as walking his his sons to the alter and asking God’s forgiveness and repent and walk straight with God’s help. It breaks my heart to see people headed for hell and others holding their hand.

    • John Chosy says:

      “It breaks my heart to see people headed for hell and others holding their hand.” That is a pretty stiff penalty for following one’s conscience and trying to minuter to mankind. Didn’t Jesus say something like “love your neighbor” or do I have that confused with some other Christianity?

      • DL Herring says:

        John, how about “go and sin no more”. Homosexual practice is clearly sinful according to the Bible and every revered Church Father and Biblical scholar for almost 2000 years. God is eager to forgive their sins, but they must repent, confess, and turn away from their sinful natures. Homosexuality is grave unrepentant sin. In Mark 10:6-9 Jesus gives us the model of marriage to be between and man and a woman.

      • It breaks my heart to see persons who seem to think they know whom God will condemn to hell. All this is way too complicated for we humans to get it right. Let it go, and let God handle it.

  5. The division/split of the UMC has now begun.

  6. Thank you, Bishop Minerva Carcaño, for this great act of friendship and service to God. I whole-heartedly agree that the UMC should “stand on the side of Jesus and declare in every good way that the United Methodist Church is wrong in its position on homosexuality” and that “Frank Schaefer chose to stand with Jesus as he extended love and care to his gay son and his partner. We should stand with him and others who show such courage and faithfulness.”

    • What other parts of the Bible do you wish to disregard? Maybe the Ten Commandments in their entirety? The active practice of homosexuality is clearly defined as sinful, as is murder, adultery, stealing, lying, etc… Scriptures are meant to be taken in whole, not just those that agree with your choice of lifestyle.

      We should love homosexuals as we would any other sinner. But that does not mean that we condone their sinful nature, nor should we allow them to use our churches, especially the pulpit, as a platform from which to promote their lifestyle.

  7. I hope that the California-Pacific Conference will lead congregations who desire to be faithful to the spirit of Christ’s teachings about love and acceptance into a new denomination that congregations currently affiliated with the UMC can form a new more faithful denomination.

    • While I don’t believe her stance to be at all “faithful” to an orthodox Christian faith, I totally agree with you on this, Jay. There needs to be separation so both sides can minister freely and the house can enjoy no longer being one divided.

      • I agree with you JM. Once Bishops and clergy start breaking vows then there is no integrity and trust with each other. It’s probably time.

      • After the spilt or separation that you seem to be hoping for occurs, which of the groups would be United Methodists? How would you decide? And what would the other group who are no longer United Methodists become? I am as conflicted personally as we are as a denomination. How should I split myself? We are a connectional church. We just need to work it out through prayer, discernment, and love. No one ever said it would be easy to follow Christ.

        • DL Herring says:

          We who are upholding the BOD are the United Methodists. Those that are in rebellion of our traditional orthodox doctrines are the splinter group. They can call themselves whatever they want; I bet they’ll stick with “Reconciling Ministries” or “The Reconciled Methodist Church”. Of course we, the UMC, will be happy to sell them the church-buildings they occupy at a fair market rate. The lawyers are going to love it when the issue of property ownership goes to court. This has already happened in the Episcopal Church USA.

  8. Wes Andrews says:

    Jay, neither Shaefer nor Carcaño are “standing with Jesus.” Their “gospel” has little to do with the Good News. It is about politics. It’s about control. It’s about bashing a loving church for its faithfulness to Scripture. It completely disregards the hard work of General Conference and the due process as set in the BOD. Their gospel treats Scripture as something to be barely tolerated and only used as authority when “redacted” to fit their own limited wisdom. So, Shaefer is defrocked and now he exploits the UMC and mocks it. That’s good will, yep.

    • You know, there’s no other institution on the planet that would tolerate a tenth of what the UMC has tolerated from these folks.

      • Reformed Catholic says:

        Take a good look at the PC(USA) … they’re getting to be a close second, especially if what is being planned happens at next year’s General Assembly.

      • Wes Andrews says:

        Exactly right. The pro-gay marriage/ordinations folk are bullies. That have spit in the faces of the faithful in the UMC. The faithful have offered love and belonging, and these folks have shown shameful disregard.

        • What an absurd account. The conservatives in the UMC have repeatedly rejected those of us who wanted to make the Church a more accepting and loving denomination. At one point, we would have been content with the position of the Methodist Church of the United Kingdom, for example, which says that the Church is divided on the question of whether homosexuality is sinful. Every attempt to expunge the hateful clause in the BoD has been met with hysterical and ugly reaction. I have left this denomination because it has not only become clear that people who embrace the humanity of gay people are not wanted, but also because my conscience will not allow me to remain in connection with people whose view of gay people are more or less the same as Phil Robertson and Fred Phelps.

          • MethodistPie says:

            For what it’s worth, Fred Phelps and company did their vile thing at a funeral held in our congregation. This was interesting: We received one actual threat of violence: from a ‘progressive” neighbor who assumed we had invited the Westboro people! Which was just nuts. There are nuts on both sides of this issue, making me all the more determined to chart a middle course–which is what I think the BOD is trying to do.

  9. Jim Hoying says:

    We are all challenged on a daily basis to walk in Christ’s footsteps and follow his word. I like many Christians have dissonance over these events. Hopefully, our spiritual leaders will take this opportunity to help educate us and heal the widening divide.

  10. Well done Bishop. Well done! Your courage and integrity evidence real leadership.

    • These people need to be understood for what they are. They do not believe in the Word of God nor will they follow any rules or laws that they have sworn to do. They have always crept in by stealth and use every craft to gain their will. These are Gnostics think that they know better than everyone what God would have us do and ignore all warnings in His word of Hell and Damnation. Here is just one warning about them in the book of Jude.
      For There Are Certain Men Crept In Unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

      I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

      And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

      Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

      • This posting by Mark Flores exemplifies precisely why this denomination must split. He completely ignores the spirit of the Gospel and embodies the intellectual heft of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. I find that kind of thinking repellent and blasphemous.

        • Now this is “The Spirit of the Gospel” compared to who Jesus really is and said.
          Am I then being judged to be a “repellent blasphemous Westboro Baptist ” because I quote the Word wholly and in context of the debate?
          Is this fellow all about splitting The Body of Christ and creating divisions?
          The very Pastor they are defending has drove away over half of his sheep and has been caught lying about attendance and membership since last April.
          He has stumbled and hurt those he was paid to shepherd.
          Let us consider apart from the attitudes of the small family cult called Westboro and really dig deep into the truths Gospel of our Lord Jesus. What he said and did, not what he “spiritualized”. Jesus plainly spoke about the narrow path to Salvation and the broad road to destruction. Jesus spoke openly and plainly about the day He will separate the Sheep from the Goats.
          Is it Blasphemous to quote the warnings of Jesus in full context?
          Mat 7:21
          Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
          Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
          And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. ”
          What the progressive Methodist do not consider is that they may be leading our homosexual brothers down that “broad way that leads to destruction” instead of that narrow path that leads to eternal life.
          I will love all sinners enough to lead them to repentance and salvation and accept any persecution and vitriol heaped upon me for doing so, for me to do other wise would be in my opinion, make me a worker of iniquity.
          XNMNX

      • Apparently there are more persons living who are able to throw the first stone living in our time than in Jesus’ time.

  11. Bishop Carcano is the same Bishop who basically told African Methodists they need to “grow up”, remember… http://www.examiner.com/article/phoenix-bishop-wishes-african-methodists-would-grow-up

    She along with the other Bishops who cannot abide by the denomination they swore to serve should follow what she believes to be the spirit and step out in faith to minister in a new and fresh way…without living off of the financial and organizational resources of the church she is openly opposing. http://jmsmith.org/blog/talbert

  12. Please read Book of Discipline paragraphs 367 and 368 dealing with restoration after termination. It happens in the original conference not a new one.

  13. Bishop Carcano has a pattern of not addressing the real issue in statements. Immigration is about the “migrant”, avoiding the adjective “illegal” . “Biblical obedience” in this case is about loving like Jesus, avoiding the mention of marriage. If Frank Schaefer had only loved like Jesus, he’d still be a pastor today. This case all about sanctifying a union between the same sex. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where that is being obedient to scripture.

  14. Thank you for your leadership and courage, Bishop Carcano. In your face, eastern PA.

  15. Sadly, Carcano is the rule rather than the exception. The progressive bishops “yell.” The few who are not, remain silent. Keep looing up–signs and wonders are happening every day. Come, Lord Jesus, come…………………..

  16. Dear Bishop, thank you, thank you, thank you for your courageous and grace filled invitation to the Reverend Schaefer. I pray other Bishops in the UMC will have the same courage and grace to stand for justice and mercy rather than be a part of the pharisaic love of rules.

    • Careful what you ask for Michael Curd. Some of those “rules” are allowing you to stay on the fringe.

    • Wes Andrews says:

      Dr. Curd, do you stop at Stop signs?

      If you do, then by your logic, you must be a “pharisaic” type driver. Stop signs are supposed to protect people. My guess is, if you didn’t honor Stop signs, then your life and the life of others would be in danger.

      Of course, people do make the case that Stop signs are old fashioned. Maybe that is your position when it comes to a new way of looking at driving. Perhaps we should only have ‘Yield’ signs, because Stop signs are kinda harsh, exclusive, and restrictive, and keep us from being truly “free” as drivers.

      And any who reject the idea of making all such signs, Yield signs, must be now labeled with the derogatory term “yieldaphobe.” They obviously must hate and fear all who support the yield-life-style, or who have a Yield-orientation, rather than an Stop-orientation.

      This is the logic you use in your rejection of the Biblical definition of marriage, and in your judgment upon those who believe it still applies.

  17. Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors?

Your thoughts?

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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)
 

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