And So It Begins Again: #UMC Clergy Trial

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Hurting, but maybe also helping

<i>it hurts my heart when our church’s judicial process becomes front and center to the news rather than our mission, ministry, outreach, and witness to the world.</i>
I share this sentiment. Once again the church will be held up to the world as gay-hating. Whether it deserves to been seen that way or not, the reality seems to be that this is how it will be seen. All the good that is done by and through the church will be obscured by the accusation and perception of institutional bigotry.
But at the same time this will draw attention to the fact that many Methodists (and Christians generally) accept and affirm same-sex marriage, even someone with the institutional stature and reputation of Dr. Ogletree. Maybe his courageous stand will be instrumental in changing this policy.

Bill more than 4 years ago

The Ogletree Case

I, too, am pained that formal judicial complaints have been brought against Dr. Ogletree, a highly respected and honest UM clergy for who Christian Ethics have defined his practice of ministry.
I, too, find the rules against a clergy performing a same-sex wedding to be abhorrent.
However, I also know that since the whole issue of homosexuality has become the cause celebre in The United Methodist Church, that if there is to be a trial, trying to use this instance to fight the law will end up hurting everyone; Dr. Ogletree, the most.
Instead, I think it would be better to look at this in a different light. I will posit that at least half of the United Methodist Clergy in the United States have, at one time or another, presided at the wedding of one of their children. This has happened, even if neither the child nor his/her spouse are active in The United Methodist Church, in any church at all, or are agnostic and only want what amounts to a civil wedding. We do this because we affirm the values of family, and of supporting couples as they enter into committed relationships---regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.
This, in actual fact, is all Dr. Ogletree did: he presided at the wedding of his own son---out of love for him, affirmation of the wholeness of his own family, and in asking God's blessing on his son and his son's partner as they enter into a new phase of their lives.
In so doing, he joined thousands of other United Methodist Clergy who have done the very same thing, for the very same reasons. He was not trying to make a political statement; he was trying to be both pastoral and parental. That, more than anything else, is the defense that is both true and which makes sense. The fact that his son and his son's partner happen to be of the same sex is immaterial.
If we have come to the point where The United Methodist Church is asking us clergy to uphold a rule over upholding our faithfulness as parents, and as Christians; asking us to condemn and punish this man for doing something so many of us have done in our own ministry---then the Church has completely lost its moorings.

Tom Griffith more than 4 years ago

Reply to Tom Griffith

Thank you for these comments. I am very sad for our church that we are so divided and that some are so agitated about these issues that we are attacking such honest and respected leaders.

Nancy Mossman more than 4 years ago

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