Survey Results on Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies
In the fall of 2014 the All Means All team started a dialogue with members to identify if there is congregational support for our pastors celebrating same-sex marriage ceremonies in our church. A questionnaire was included in the bulletin on September 28 and October 5 and in the October Koinonia. As of October 17, there were 75 responses, with the following results:
Strongly Support: 44
Strongly Oppose: 6
The questionnaire included space for questions and comments. In this article and in the coming months we will answer questions as we continue a respectful conversation on this issue.
Will we (our congregation) be kicked out of the United Methodist Church if our pastors allow a same-sex marriage to take place at our church?
Will the pastors be defrocked?
United Methodist clergy can be brought up on charges for performing a same-sex wedding ceremony. Charges may result in a church trial with potential punishment of suspension and defrocking. The case of Rev. Frank Schaefer who was defrocked and then reinstated was then appealed. The Judicial Council upheld Schaefer’s reinstatement on Oct. 27, 2014.
What does it mean to be defrocked?
It means the loss of clergy credentials in the United Methodist Church.
Will our pastors marry same-sex couples?
Pastor Darr and Pastor Campbell have both stated that they will perform same-sex marriages under their individual policies for marriage.
Are they going to start performing same-sex marriage ceremonies in our church now?
They will not perform a same-sex marriage in our church until the church is ready, and has a fuller understandingof the implications of such a decision. Part of being ready will include individual discussions within existing groups in the church (committees, adult study, UMW circles, etc.) and information shared through the Koinonia, sermons, and specific “talk back” or study sessions.
We invite all members to continue to send questions and comments to the All Means All Team, or to speak individually with team members: Jody & Bill Baty, Lisa Campbell, Vernelle Casper, Rich Darr, Pat Gagliardi, Ed & Katy Hansen, Catherine Inserra, Jim Lane, Linda Ritts, Lisa Shewfelt, Gloria Stepek, and Jennifer Sterling.