Frank Schaefer wins final reinstatement with Methodists

Print More
Seven years after officiating at the wedding of his gay son, the Rev. Frank Schaefer has been reinstated as a clergyman once and for all in the United Methodist Church. Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

Seven years after officiating at the wedding of his gay son, the Rev. Frank Schaefer has been reinstated as a clergyman once and for all in the United Methodist Church. Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

(RNS) Seven years after officiating at the wedding of his gay son, the Rev. Frank Schaefer has been reinstated as a clergyman in the United Methodist Church.

The denomination’s top court upheld a June decision to reinstate Schaefer’s ministerial credentials after a trial court defrocked the Pennsylvania pastor last year.

A United Methodist jury Monday night found the Rev. Frank Schaefer guilty of violating church law for officiating at the 2007 wedding of his son and another man. Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

Seven years after officiating at the wedding of his gay son, the Rev. Frank Schaefer has been reinstated as a clergyman once and for all in the United Methodist Church. Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

Schaefer appealed and was reinstated by a vote of a regional court, the Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals. At that time, Schaefer said, “I will not refuse ministry to anyone. I will never be silent again. I will always speak for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”

In the ruling released Monday (Oct. 27), the church’s top court upheld Schaefer’s appeal while acknowledging “some within the church do not support this outcome today,” according to United Methodist News Service.

Others are celebrating. The Reconciling Ministries Network executive director Matt Berryman said in a press release that it was “a step on the journey toward justice” for a church that “still has a long way to go.”

Schaefer, formerly pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, Pa., has since moved to the UMC’s California-Pacific Conference where he is assigned to a ministry in Santa Barbara.

YS/AMB END GROSSMAN

  • Pingback: UMC ruling implicates the Apostle Paul of social injustice against homosexuals | Laodicean Report()

  • Pingback: Rev. Frank Schaefer Reinstated as Clergyman Once and For All In United Methodist Church | BCNN1 WP()

  • P.Johnson

    What a sad commentary on the Methodist church so blatantly trashing God’s standards of morality and holiness. Do we bend to society’s changing flavor-of-the-month values or remain firm according to scripture?

  • Larry

    He was being castigated for NOT being judgmental, malicious or cruel. It is an even sadder commentary that displaying love and respect for one’s own child is considered a violation of moral standards and holiness.

  • P.Johnson

    Obeying God’s unchanging standards of conduct is not malicious, cruel or homophobic. Our loving heavenly father wants us to avoid the pain and final outcome of sin. In many ways we love our children more by not condoning their defying scripture.

  • Larry

    This is a perfect example of how religious morality is relativistic nonsense. There is no way you can tell me that treating one’s child with love and respect is something immoral. It is what parents should be aspiring to do.

    Just because you do a hurtful and harmful act on God’s behalf does not change its nature. It is still hurtful and harmful. A bad act in the name of God is still a bad act. It doesn’t suddenly become moral because God commands it.

    It is malicious, cruel and homophobic to treat people, especially one’s family badly, with contempt and rejection because of their orientation. Claiming God supports your actions may make you feel better, but it doesn’t make the action moral or worthy of calling holy.

    Its a sad commentary on the nature of one’s belief when the willingness NOT to discriminate and treat others badly is the basis of sanction within a church. They have every right to do so, but it doesn’t say much for them in general.

  • Jay

    So then, we should ask women to remain silent in church; condone stoning adulterers, etc. And don’t hide behind a “theory” that says law in the Scriptures is divided between what is eternally moral and what is changeable, -like not just holding slaves peacefully, but not freeing them. Sorry for the child of any parent who cannot treat their adult children as adults and let God, not the parent, be the judge.

  • Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud()

  • Pingback: October 29, 2014: Truth2Freedom Daily Headline Alerts Collection | Truth2Freedom's Blog()

  • Rob

    You significantly miss the point. It is entirely possible for a parent to correct a child while still loving them. If, as a matter of their firmly-held religious beliefs, a parent believes the actions of a child will result in a negative outcome of eternal consequences, it would be a most heartless and cruel action to condone those actions and outright evil to actually encourage them. This goes for any one of a number of behaviors, not just homosexuality.

    You are also incorrect in equating a person’s belief that homosexuality is a sin that is condemned (as is all sin) by God with treating homosexuals with contempt and rejection. This is just not the case. It is entirely possible for someone to love someone they believe to be a sinner without condemning or rejecting them. If I condemned and rejected every sinner I would first have to start with myself and in the end would be the loneliest person on earth.

  • Larry

    Correct them for what? Existing as they are?

    Just because you think gays are hellbound for being what they are, it doesn’t mean everyone else has to. You can dress your animosity and bigotry in the language of religious euphemisms but it doesn’t change the nature of the actions taken in accordance with them.

    “You are also incorrect in equating a person’s belief that homosexuality is a sin that is condemned (as is all sin) by God with treating homosexuals with contempt and rejection. ”

    Given the behavior of such people when dealing with gays in their presence or families, I am hardly incorrect here. Any time a Christian authority figure shows a measure of respect and humanity to gays, people like yourself attack them. Deny their Christian belief, expect them to take harsh measures against gays in the name of God. Sorry buddy I do not buy the idea that moral actions allow for any means as long as the ends can be justified. Christian morality in your terms is a relativistic sinkhole.

    Rev Shaefer was under attack by his church because he chose to treat his son like a human being. Not to shun him, not to denigrate him, but to respect him as a person. Obviously you find such behavior immoral. Its pathetic that you can find fault in a father and son acting like normal loving people. That you can consider hateful, harmful, mean spirited behavior an act of love and devotion.

    “a parent believes the actions of a child will result in a negative outcome of eternal consequences, it would be a most heartless and cruel action to condone those actions and outright evil to actually encourage them”

    Which would be license for a parent to do any act which can be malicious, cruel and harmful to a child if they think the child is “going to hell”. Your morality is non-existent. An act is not inherently good if you claim to have a good cause.

  • Larry

    Treating gay people as less than people is showing them love and concern. Attacking them, shunning them, abandoning them is merely worrying about their afterlife.

    What a load of crap!!!

    It is simply the kind of lie one would tell themselves to avoid considering their own bigoted, malicious actions.

  • Pingback: Weekly News Roundup-Jesus was NOT a Republican or Democrat | Truth in Palmyra()

  • Pingback: This is Personal | Let There Be Sex()

  • Pingback: Trending Christian News | Religion Plays Starring Role in 2014 News - Trending Christian News()

  • Pingback: 11 defining moments in 2014 for the Christian LGBT conversation | GLBT411()

  • Pingback: 11 defining moments in 2014 for the Christian LGBT conversation - Faithfully LGBT()

  • Pingback: Where Christian Churches, Other Religions Stand on Gay Marriage - the MethoBlog()

  • Pingback: Christian churches’ stand on gay marriage | NELOBIC()