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The UM News Service has reported that I filed a complaint against the Rev. Anna Blaedel for violating the UMC’s longstanding prohibition of “self-avowed practicing homosexual” clergy, and that the Iowa Conference Committee on Investigation (COI) has certified a bill of charges.
Those interested in a three-minute summary of my perspective can scroll down to the italicized text, which I read at the COI hearing earlier this month.
But there is a bit more background.
I am grateful for the professional, non-partisan manner in which the COI completed its work. I am disappointed that Blaedel has since painted a misleading picture of what actually happened with this committee. The UMC Discipline is clear that the only decision before COIs is to judge “whether reasonable grounds exist to support the charges,” and Blaedel could hardly have been more blatant in publicly admitting her violation of our standards.
Reports - Facts - Complaint - Way - March
Recent reports have not mentioned such facts as that I filed this complaint way back in March 2018 (not expecting things to take this long!), and that I have repeatedly made clear my interest in dialogue seeking a just resolution and de-escalation of the conflict. If others are not interested, that’s not my fault.
Contrary to some claims, the complaint was never over Blaedel’s simply “being queer.” I would have no interest in sanctioning a clergywoman who found herself attracted to other women, but was committed to keeping her lifestyle choices within the boundaries of our church’s biblical standards.
Names - Kinds - Ways - United - Methodist
Now I’ve been called names and misrepresented in all kinds of ways. A prominent United Methodist Communications staffer expressed his appreciation for another Iowa UMC campus minister displaying photographs of a burned-up Bible (burned by him?) in accusing the COI of having “torched the Gospel.” Representatives of the cabinet of my own bishop, Julius Trimble, endorsed an open letter denouncing me...
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