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Defrocked Confessed Lesbian Pastor To Continue To Minister At UM Church

From: Update-bounces@bethstroud.info On Behalf Of Chris Paige [Stroud's lesbian sex partner]
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 7:50 AM
To: update@bethstroud.info
Subject: [Stroud-Update] Thank you for your prayers and support

Dear friends,

You have probably already heard the news through the media: The Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church reinstated the decision of the trial jury in Beth's case. This means that Beth is no longer an ordained minister in The United Methodist Church. There are no further avenues for appeal.

It's hard to know what to say. We always knew this could happen and tried to be prepared, but still we feel very sad. While Beth's credentials have been in limbo for two and a half years, it is really very different to know now that they are gone. As with the trial, we are reading emails and listening to voicemails, but are not able to keep up with replies.

Beth still feels committed to The United Methodist Church. We know that God will make a way for her to be in ministry. She continues to serve as a lay minister at First United Methodist Church of Germantown.

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers during this long process in which Chris and I and all of us have been involved. It was very hard to receive the news of the Judicial Council decision Monday, but very good to be surrounded by your love and prayers through it all. You also spread the word about Beth's legal fund, and we had everything we needed to complete this part of the journey. We still have to pay a few final bills, but at this point it looks like there will even be money left over to support the youth program at First United Methodist Church of Germantown.

We have no regrets about coming out of the closet. It was the right decision and has brought us happiness and freedom. And our grief is also tempered by a great joy! As of October 24, 2005, we are certified to be foster parents.
So before too long, we will be able to share our life with a child. When a child is placed with us, Beth will be taking a few months of maternity leave, but after that leave she will be returning to the church.

Some of you have asked "What can we do?" As throughout this whole process, the most powerful thing that you can do is to pray. Please pray for us and the new directions in our lives -- but even more, please pray for God to fill us all with strength and wisdom, and to guide our churches and our country to embrace fairness and compassion for all people. Reach out to others who may be hurting -- and pray together. Don't worry about the words -- sometimes a shared moment of silence provides a powerful opening for the Spirit. Pray for the healing light of God's love to renew us all for the road ahead.

Beth Stroud and Chris Paige

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Check out www.BethStroud.Info on the world wide web!

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