August 7, 2019
For Immediate Release
The Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation meeting tomorrow
The Committee on Investigation for the Iowa Annual Conference is meeting Thursday, August 8, 2019, with United Methodist clergyperson Rev. Anna Blaedel and several support persons. Rev. Blaedel is the respondent to a formal complaint filed with the Iowa Conference Bishop’s Office by Mr. John Lomperis, a lay member of a United Methodist congregation in the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Tomorrow’s hearing is not a trial. The purpose of the Committee on Investigation, under the fair process rules contained in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church (2016), is to determine only whether reasonable grounds exist to support the charge made, a dismissal of the charge is warranted, or a referral should be made for just resolution process to be initiated. As required by the rules of The United Methodist Church, tomorrow’s hearing is closed, confidential, and independent of the Bishop’s Office and the Board of Ministry of the Iowa Conference.
Mr. Lomperis has alleged that Rev. Blaedel is in violation of Paragraphs 304(3) and 2702(1)(b) in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church(2016), which prohibit United Methodist clergy members from certain practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teaching, including, among other things, and in the Discipline’s words: “being a self-avowed practicing homosexual.”
At all points along the Judicial Process, the Book of Discipline refers to a “just resolution” as being the encouraged and preferred outcome over a church trial, with the goal of “making things right in so far as possible and bringing healing to the parties.”
Bishop Laurie Haller, while not involved in tomorrow’s hearing, will be praying for all involved and asks everyone in the conference to do the same.
“I invite clergy and laity in the Iowa Annual Conference to express their care for all those involved in tomorrow’s Committee on Investigation meeting,” she said. “Our differences around human sexuality have caused division and great harm throughout our United Methodist connection over many years, including Iowa. May God’s grace surround all of the participants with a spirit of gentleness and hope.”
This follows The United Methodist Church's General Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri, February 23-26, 2019, where the Traditional Plan was passed by conference delegates.
Media Contact: Courtney Levin
Iowa United Methodist Communications