Erik Alsgaard, UMR Correspondent

About Erik Alsgaard, UMR Correspondent

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.

Baltimore-Washington clergy vote not to commission deacon

Clergy members of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference, meeting June 1 in an Executive Session, did not approve Tara “T.C.” Morrow for commissioning as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church. Morrow failed to receive the two-thirds of the vote needed to be approved. Morrow, who is woman married to another woman, became a litmus test […]

Baltimore-Washington BOM recommends married lesbian for commissioning

The Board of Ordained Ministry of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, meeting last month, recommended Tara “T.C.” Morrow for commissioning as a Provisional Deacon. Morrow is a woman married to another woman. The Board is making public what is normally a confidential personnel matter in an effort to be as transparent and open as possible, according to […]

700 emerging NEJ leaders meet to ‘See Know Love’

*by Erik Alsgaard More than 700 United Methodists from around the Northeastern Jurisdiction gathered in Hershey, Pa., Oct. 2-4, for a first-of-its-kind event focusing on transformational leadership. “See Know Love” sought to target the church’s youngest leaders, both clergy and laity, according to the Rev. Ann Pearson, retired Elder from the New York Conference and […]

Frank Schaefer Appeal Hearing

The nine-member Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals has wrapped up nearly 3 hours of testimony and questioning, and the fate of Frank Schaefer now rests in their hands. The committee, meeting near Baltimore, heard the Rev. Scott Campbell, counsel for Schaefer, say that their appeal was based on the defrocking penalty given Schaefer, not the […]

Two bishops arrested at the White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two United Methodist bishops, Bishop Minerva Carcano of the Los Angeles Area, and Julius Trimble of the Iowa Area, were arrested on Presidents Day as they participated in an immigration policy rally on the sidewalk outside the White House. They were joined by 30 other faith leaders and immigrants, including Harriet Jane […]

Frank Schaefer loses ministerial credentials

Both 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 […]

Bishop Johnson pledges to avoid church trials

Bishop Peggy Johnson of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference has pledged in a statement to avoid conducting church trials as much as possible. Johnson released her statement on December 17 as a response to the statement from the Rev. Frank Schaefer issued at a press conference at the Arch Street UMC in Philadelphia, Penn. the day […]

End of trial prompts varied reactions from participants

SPRING CITY, Pa. — The verdict has been proclaimed and the penalty has been issued. The trial of the Rev. Frank Schaefer is over, and the participants reflected on the events of the past two days at a post-trial news conference. The counsel of the church, the Rev. Christopher Fisher, stated that he believed the […]

Schaefer Jury: 30 day suspension and possible surrender

SPRING CITY, Pa. — The jury in the trial of the Rev. Frank Schaefer has ordered that Schaefer be suspended immediately from the practice of ministry for 30 days, during which time he must decide whether he is willing to comply with the United Methodist Book of Discipline “in it’s entirety” or surrender his ministerial credentials. The […]

Jury deliberating over penalty in trial of PA pastor

SPRING CITY, Pa. — The jury hearing the case of the Rev. Frank Schaefer, the United Methodist pastor found guilty yesterday of disobeying church teaching on same-sex unions, is debating an appropriate penalty tonight after a day of testimony from persons on both sides of the issue. The jury has a wide range of options […]