Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thousands of United Methodists petition bishop: end gay marriage prosecutions

From Philadelphia-

Just days after one of their pastors was found guilty and penalized for officiating over a same-sex marriage, United Methodist pastors are expected to on Thursday deliver a petition with more than 19,000 signatures appealing to Bishop Peggy Johnson to cease putting pastors on trial for the violation.

The United Methodist Church prohibits ministers from presiding at gay weddings. On Tuesday the Rev. Frank Schaefer was suspended for 30 days from all ministerial duties and put on notice that he will be defrocked if he presides over another gay marriage. Schaefer, pastor at Zion United Methodist Church of Iona, on Monday was found guilty by a church judicial jury of violating and disobeying church law. In 2007, he presided over the gay marriage ceremony of his oldest son, Tim, in Massachusetts.

On Thursday morning, local United Methodists plan to deliver more than 19,000 petition signatures to the Johnson, who is the United Methodist Bishop of the Philadelphia Episcopal Area. The petition will be delivered to her office in Norristown.

More here-

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