Rev. Frank Schaefer to Preach at Foundry Dec. 22, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

*United Methodist defrocked pastor, Rev. Frank Schaefer to preach at Foundry

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, PA, whom church officials defrocked on yesterday for violating church law, will preach at historic Foundry United Methodist Church on this Sunday, December 22 for its 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM services. 

Listen to FrankLate November, Schaefer was convicted in a Pennsylvania church trial and subsequently sentenced to a 30-day suspension for performing his son’s same-sex wedding (in 2007). During his suspension, church officials called on Schaefer to use his time to discern whether he could uphold the denomination’s Book of Discipline, (church law) ‘in its entirety.’ He had to promise that he would not watch Frankperform another same-sex marriage. 

While The United Methodist Church calls on its congregation members to accept lesbians and gays as members, its position on homosexuality is that, ‘it is incompatible with Christian teaching.’ Further, it forbids pastors from conducting Frank playsame-sex marriages and same-sex marriages cannot be celebrated in its churches. 

Thursday, Schaefer appeared before his conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry and conveyed that he could not uphold The United Methodist Church’s position on homosexuality, nor would he voluntarily surrender his credentials. Church officials then defrocked him. 

Rev. Dean Snyder, senior minister of Foundry, issued the invitation to Schaefer late Thursday evening. Snyder attended the church trial last month in Lebanon and supported Schaefer throughout the trial, sentencing and now stripping of his ministerial credentials. 

Snyder has led national efforts to end the discriminatory language in the Book of Discipline. Foundry is on the forefront of full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the life of the church. 

Excerpt of Foundry UMC statement after the November Schaefer trial.

…Like Rev. Schaefer, we believe in marriage equality as a biblical principle. We believe in the full inclusion of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the life of the church. We believe this because we believe in Christ’s message of love and inclusion. We believe the long United Methodist history and tradition also leads us to the same conclusion. 

As United Methodists, we are committed to walking with our brothers and sisters across the globe to reach more people, to touch more lives and to continue growing to be a catalyst for change by responding to God's call. Including LGBT people in the lives of the church is a key part of that mission. It demonstrates our commitment to fulfill Jesus’ commandment to love our neighbors. 

LGBT Christians are and have always been a part of The United Methodist Church. They are a big part of our community at Foundry, and we are stronger—much stronger—because of them. We strive to be a community that welcomes all of God’s children. We are committed to ending the pain inflicted by Christians on our LGBT brothers and sisters.  

Contact: Rev. Dawn M. Hand (202) 332-4010

*Foundry is a historic, progressive United Methodist Church that welcomes all, worships passionately, challenges the status quo and seeks to transform the world through God's love. To read entire statement, updates and more visit… www.foundryumc.org.

**To read the response statement from Foundry and the letter from Senior Pastor Dean Snyder in regards to the Frank Schaefer trail, click here.