Bishop Trimble responds to decision to remove pastor's credentials


December 19, 2013

 

Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble called for “a more excellent way” and for “conversation” in the matter of same-gender weddings and the stance of The United Methodist Church.  

 

In particular, he was responding to the action of the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry which voted on Thursday, December 19, 2013 to surrender Rev. Frank Schaefer’s credentials.  Schaefer had been found guilty, by a trial court of fellow ordained clergy, on November 19, of violating church law by performing the same-gender wedding ceremony for his son and another man.  The trial court penalty was to suspend Schaefer for 30 days to discern and decide if he could uphold the United Methodist Book of Discipline in its entirety.

 

At a news conference at Arch Street United Methodist Church Dec. 16,  Schaefer said, “I cannot uphold the United Methodist Book of Discipline in its entirety. In fact I don’t believe anyone can.”  Schaefer said then he would not voluntarily surrender his ordination credentials.

 

“I look forward to conversation on what unites us,” Bishop Trimble said.  That dialogue would also be about “what is, or should be, different between church trials and secular trials.”

 

Speaking about the trial Bishop Trimble observed, “nothing, really surprised me about this trial or Rev. Frank Schaefer’s post-trial statement.”  The Bishop concluded by noting, “Good and faithful people are struggling to do the best we can.”

 

 

Statement from Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble: “I look forward to conversation on what unites us and what is, or should be, different between church trials and secular trials. I believe there is a more excellent way. Having said that nothing, really surprised me about this trial or Rev. Frank Schaefer’s post-trial statement. Good and faithful people are struggling to do the best we can.”

 

 

Story coverage from the United Methodist News Service: http://umcconnections.org/2013/12/19/breaking-pennsylvania-pastor-loses-clergy-credentials/