The Trial of Rev. Frank Schaefer – WE RESPOND

Pennsylvania United Methodist pastor Rev. Frank Schaefer was tried by the UMC for performing a same-gender marriage ceremony (for his son).  He was given an opportunity to avoid the trial if he repented the act and vowed to never do it again, but Frank refused.  The trial lasted 2 days, on Mon 11/18 and Tues 11/19.  Frank was found guilty by a jury of 13 clergy (including 3 women) of performing a same-gender ceremony and of defying the UMC Discipline.  He received a 30-day suspension, during which time, if he breaks any part of the Discipline, he will be required to turn in his orders.

A multitude of news stories about the case are available online.  Please visit these two pages to see thorough lists of articles and more:

Reconciling Ministries Network: Media Coverage

United Methodist Reporter: Special Coverage

Below are links to personal essays responding to the events this week.
Please send a link to your essay for possible inclusion in our list, which we will update periodically.  At the bottom are direct responses from members of the UMC Southwest Texas Annual Conference.


Miranda Lupion (Eastern Pennsylvania Conference)

Rev. Dr. Karen Wiseman (Eastern Pennsylvania Conference)

By @sorryabtthat in response to Bishop Peggy Johnson’s letter on 11/27 found here

Joseph Matthews, cleric in The Episcopal Church (former Methodist)

Several responses on RMN blog, we especially like this one by Autumn Dennis

 Rev. Dean Snyder (Baltimomre-Washington Conference)

Anthony Ormsbee (Texas Conference)

Anonymous (North Georgia Annual Conference)

Rev. Eric Fokerth (North Texas Annual Conference)

Morgan Guyton

Michael Williams

Anonymous Seminary Student

Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire


Marci Glass

Rev. Jeremy Smith

Rev. Karen Oliveto

Rev. Peter K. Perry

Hannah Adair Bonner

Mark Demers


“I recently joined a United Methodist Church, but I don’t consider myself Methodist at all. I joined Trinity because it’s Trinity, not because it’s UMC. The recent events make me sad and remind me why I’ve never been a fan of the larger denominations that are governed by a law book. Don’t get me wrong, I do see some need for being on the same page, but I don’t believe for a minute that it’s okay for anyone to tell me how I am to believe or how I am to worship and ultimately serve God. It’s not ok for anyone to look down on someone else because they are different or feel that they are called by God to a higher purpose. I have never felt at home in a church the way I do right now. When people look at me and smile, I see love and acceptance, not examination and judgment. That’s the way it should be in church. If I’ve missed a Sunday or two and someone comes up to me and gives me hug saying, ‘I’ve missed you,’ I know they mean it. It’s not a coded way of saying, “We noticed you were gone and were worried about your salvation because you weren’t in church.” The bottom line here is I want to be a part of a church, not denomination, that loves the way Jesus loves and cares for all of God’s children, not just the ones who fit neatly in the ‘Christian box.’ ”
– Renee Smith, Austin, TX


6 thoughts on “The Trial of Rev. Frank Schaefer – WE RESPOND

  1. I am a former candidate for ordained ministry in the Western North Carolina Conference, forced to stop my process at the very end because I married a woman. After the penalty was read in the Frank Schaefer trial on Tuesday night, I wrote a blog post about my feelings and experience. We simply must share our stories with each other and continue to educate one another, hoping that one day a change will come.

    You can read my blog post here:

    Feel free to link my blog on your post/blog and send it further to wherever you would like.

    Peace and love,
    Elizabeth Reynolds McGuire

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