Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Openly Gay Methodist Minister Reports That Somebody Stole His Seminary Diploma & Ordination Certificate

I wrote earlier this month about efforts within the United Methodist Church to make things less contentious for both its affirming and non-affirming factions. Personally, I don't think that the One Church Plan that's currently being recommended by the Council of Bishops will make too many people happy. But it has the potential for making things less hostile towards pastors who officiate at their own kids' same-sex weddings. And it has the potential to open up ministry options for openly gay pastors within the denomination.

Anyway, this must be the UMC's time to shine (or not). WKRC from Cincinnati posted an article about a openly gay UMC pastor in Clifton, OH, who reports that his seminary diploma and ordination certificate have been stolen from his church office:
Near the end of April, Meredith says someone broke into his office and stole two framed documents. The documents had not been hung but rather were sitting against the wall, they’re Meredith’s seminary diploma from Saint Paul School of Theology and his ordination certificate. His laptop, historic church jewelry and other valuables were not taken. “This is clearly a planned, purposeful way to de-authorize my ministry as a pastor in this place,” said Meredith. “It’s a very directed, very intentional and feels like somebody is trying to do what the processes of the church have not yet been able to do."
Meredith married his partner Jim back in 2016 after being together as a couple for 30 years. Shortly after his wedding, parishioners began acknowledging his marriage by filing complaints against Meredith to the UMC higher-ups. He was taken to church court and eventually received a favorable decision last year. However, a district church appeals court decided to reconsider that decision in March 2018.

And now somebody has broken into his office and stolen his diploma and ordination certificate.

Frankly, incidents like this (the protracted church trial for getting married) is why I remain in the UCC and why I haven't attempted to return to the denomination of my childhood. The UMC holds a warm spot in my heart, but I really don't have the energy to exist within a denomination that continues to struggle with whether or not to affirm or respect LGBTQ members, families, or leaders.

No comments: