Legalism vs. Love, Round 3

Legalism vs. Love, Round 3

Next week, in a makeshift courtroom at a hotel in Memphis, The United Methodist Church’s highest judicial body will decide Rev. Frank Schaefer’s fate. Schaefer was defrocked in December 2013 after a church trial in which the prosecutor threatened the jury with eternal...
#reasonsIstay

#reasonsIstay

So, I’m a bit of a mess this morning. Typical for me. This happens soon after every “event” such as the church trial we’ve all endured the past few days. There are always moments in the thick of things when I tear up for a second, but I’m usually able to keep it...
Modeling inclusion

Modeling inclusion

This week has been exhausting and draining. We’ve seen the worst that our denomination can do. Rev. Schaefer is facing trial because he believes his son worthy of the full blessing of being a member of the United Methodist Church. It’s not marriage that’s on trial;...
For Such a Time as This

For Such a Time as This

There’s a somewhat obscure verse in the book of Esther that we have heard made into hymns, songs and catchy phrases that help us get through the day. Esther is making the tough decision as to whether or not to help the Jewish people who are set to be persecuted, she...
Smiling

Smiling

Amy DeLong and her partner Val were smiling.  Their family and their love were both recognized publicly not only through their Wisconsin domestic partnership but by a United Methodist Church court.  Their family was also protected from further intrusions into their...
Still Small Voices

Still Small Voices

There was a moment yesterday during the trial that I thought we’d lost.  Rev. Amy DeLong had already been on the stand, modeling grace and integrity in the midst of indecent and violent questioning. The moment we all knew was coming arrived. The council for the church...
A Place Called Peace?

A Place Called Peace?

Most people eventually got into the basement of Peace UMC of Kaukauna, Wisconsin. If you were stuck outside because there wasn’t enough space following lunch, it wasn’t too bad. I was the first person not to be let in for jury selection. The crew outside brought out...
Outsider

Outsider

I was struck by an exchange this morning between Bishop Clay Lee, the Presiding Officer of the church trial of Rev. Amy Delong, and Amy’s counsel, Rev. Scott Campbell: Bishop Lee: Scott, you’re not from this annual conference, are you? Rev. Campbell: No, I am not....