Hundreds of Hoosiers Support Iowa Pastor Facing Church Trial



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Get the facts straight

For those interested in getting the facts, here is my response to the "Hoosier Response":

John Lomperis more than 2 years ago

Oddly enough.....

One of the leaders of the group circulating the letter is the Rev Mary Dicken. The letter, and many of the comments, complains in part that the complaint against Rev Blaidell was filed by John Lomperis who is not a member of a church in Iowa. Yet Rev Dicken herself, although leading the charge on behalf of an Indiana UM group, is, according to UM Data, a member of the Tennessee Annual Conference.

Mike more than 2 years ago


Rev. Anna Blaedel will be seen in the future as one who nailed a thesis to this door of oppression and bigotry. Biblical mentions about slaves being obedient to their masters were explained away generations ago as this issue is now being addressed and will be in the future.

Remember: Christ instructed us to love one another. He didn't restrict this to any one group.
Rev. Anna Blaedel, there are many straight United Methodists like my wife and I who whole-heartedly believe our LGBTQ members and clergy are correct in their fight.

Dr Chris Siebrasse more than 2 years ago

Christ forgave but...

Jesus forgave the sinner but admonished the sinner to sin no more. It’s not a question of love. We all deserve love. But sometimes love means saying no. You cannot openly violate our Rules and lie in the oath you took before God and His people and not expect there to be a consequence. Regardless of what you think of her as a person or of her cause, the simple and plain truth is she does not meet the qualifications to be an ordained minister in our denomination and should, if there is any integrity left in the Discipline, be removed. She is certainly free to be an an ordained minister in a different denomination, but not ours. That’s as simple a plan as I can imagine. Whatever you think of her as a person or her cause, neither are larger than our Church. A Church that conforms to secular society rather than trying to change society is already dead.

John more than 2 years ago


I find it fascinating and a bit hilarious about all these folks going ballistic over Mr. Lomperis simply pointing out what is clearly the truth: under our BOD, Rev. Blaedel does not meet the standards to serve as an ordained UMC minister. He’s like the kid who spoke truth to the Emperor about his new clothes, simply pointing out the obvious: dude, you’re naked.

John more than 2 years ago

I'm surprised that Lomperis has standing

He's not even a member of Blaedel's conference.
He doesn't even live in the conference where he attends (and is a rep to General Conference).

I guess we have to expect the Traditionalist Inquisition now. I wonder how far they'll try to go...

JR more than 2 years ago

Are you also surprised

that ordained clergy appointed to extension ministry with the General Board of Church and Society hold membership in their home conferences and didn't transfer to Virginia or Baltimore-Washington? There are progressive caucuses and interest groups that are not part of the "official" UMC bureaucratic structure that also have appointed clergy whose conference membership is elsewhere. Why should hold Lomperis to a different standard?

Our broader connection within the UMC, not conference membership, gives us standing in holding one another accountable. Mutual accountability is essential to mature Christian discipleship--creating innumerable "safety zones" that enable offenders to thumb their noses at others and taunt, "can't touch me here" belong on the schoolyard playground, not the church of Christ.

John more than 2 years ago

Clergy are appointed. Lomperis is not clergy.

Part of the system is that clergy are appointed - so they don't have a lot of choice in the matter (Bishops are a little different in that respect). I know of clergy who have been appointed and are still 'tied' to their home conference, to the point that they cannot vote on their 'working' conference items.

Lomperis, despite having an MDiv from Harvard, is a lay member.

I have no doubt that the IRD could find SOMEONE in the Iowa conference to push the claim.

But no, he's the one spearheading this.

So let me run a scenario for you:
Since I know where Lomperis lives in relation to his 'home church';
Would it be appropriate for me to, in the spirit of 'mutual accountability' to inquire as to his attendance at church to ascertain whether there might be need for an intervention or to be encouraged to transfer his membership (¶228 (2)), or perhaps just proceed to filing a grievance here (¶228 (5))?

Because the accountability of Professing Members is outlined in ¶221, and I think there's a very strong argument that Lomperis has violated ¶217.5, and potentially ¶217.6 depending on his actual attendance at the small startup church that he claims as home.

Maybe he's dotting all his i's and crossing all his t's. But I don't know that he is, and under the auspice of 'mutual accountability' would it actually do any harm to send a letter?

Or am I just fishing for a reason to boot him?

Is this kind of Inquisition really how the Methodist Church ought to work?d

JR more than 2 years ago


Matthew 18 grants you the opportunity and authority to confront those within the Body of Christ who have sinned against you. The BoD is the UMC's over-bloated set of expectations for Christian behavior and processes for holding each other accountable to those expectations. It's grown to become an unwieldy tome because we've become too legalistic--some of us are constantly looking for loopholes to evade the accountability because we don't want to reign in our transgressions, while others are aghast at perceived mis-behaviors and want to tighten up our "regulations." That's sometimes holding other's accountable, sometimes it's the Inquisition. Either way, Jesus is clear: Step One is to confront the offending brother or sister one-on-one; "going to the church" is only when the prior steps do not rectify the problem. In any event, "fishing for a reason to boot" someone ought not be our objective--rather it is to correct for the purpose of reconciling one to another and restoring each other to the full fellowship of the Body. Even when we cast someone outside that fellowship, the purpose is to enable them to see the error of their ways, repent, seek forgiveness, and be reconciled and restored--permanent excommunication is never a goal.

John more than 2 years ago

So you agree...

That Lomperis is overstepping here?

That's a bit of a relief, to be honest. I don't think my 'possible' method is a good example of how to be a Christian.

JR more than 2 years ago