He was defrocked for performing a gay marriage and refusing to denounce it. And now it appears one United Methodist congregation is opening its arms to Pennsylvania pastor Frank Schaefer.
“Frank Schaefer says he has been offered a job with the United Methodist Church on the West Coast. He says he’s deciding whether to accept the invitation to join the California-Pacific annual conference.” (Via WGAL)
Schaefer was stripped of his professional status as a United Methodist pastor on Thursday. He was already suspended after a jury of clergy members found him guilty of officiating a same-sex wedding. (Via WHP-TV)
But the former pastor had claimed he wasn’t disobeying the church.
“I felt totally honored and I was full of joy … What is my crime? I blessed two people that love each other?” (Via ABC)
He could’ve retained his standing if he promised never to perform a same-sex marriage again, but Thursday he said he couldn’t uphold the church’s beliefs.
“I’m upset at the exclusionary policies that we have in place and we must change those policies.” (Via KYW)
Schaefer said he is seriously considering the offer by Bishop Minerva G. Carcano to join the California-Pacific Annual Conference. (Via The United Methodist Reporter)
In a statement, Carcano said she was following in the footsteps of another pastor who brought a handful of pastors together when they were being criticized for standing against racial discrimination.
“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 … We should stand with [Schaefer] and others who show such courage and faithfulness.” (Via California-Pacific Annual Conference)
One problem there is Carcano has no power to reinstate Schaefer’s ministerial credentials. She said she can only give him the same rights and responsibilities as an ordained minister.
This latest break in the ongoing saga of Schaefer does, however, highlight a major gap in the Protestant church: those who support gay marriage and those who don’t. (Via KHON)
The United Methodist Church has about 7.8 million members and is one of the second largest Protestant denominations in the country. It maintains that homosexuality is “incompatible with church teachings.” (Via The Christian Post)
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