ucmpage.gif (9365 bytes)


News


UM Church Officials To Appoint Pastor After Sex Change From Pastor Richard To Pastor Rebecca


sunspot.net - maryland news

Church to rule on cleric who had sex change
Methodist pastor in Md. took leave of absence for surgical procedure
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis
Sun Staff
Originally published June 5, 2002

Excerpt:

  • Methodist Church officials are expected to decide this week whether to reappoint a Thurmont minister who took a leave of absence from his congregation to have a sex-change operation and become a woman.

    The question of whether to allow the minister - formerly Richard A. Zamostny and now named Rebecca Steen - to end a voluntary leave of absence and lead a congregation has touched off a quiet discussion within the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, which is to debate the issue in a session tomorrow at the start of its annual meeting.
     
  • Bishop Felton Edwin May declined, through a spokesman, to comment on his position on Steen's return to active ministry, but Methodist leaders - both supporters and opponents - suggest that she will receive an appointment as requested. Before the leave, Zamostny served as pastor of churches in Thurmont and Rockville.
     
  • The Rev. J. Philip Wogaman, an ethicist and pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, said undergoing a sex-change operation does not disqualify a person from being a minister.
     
  • Still, some conservative ministers and religious groups say the conference should find a way to prevent Steen from leading a congregation, even in the absence of rules that prevent it.
     
  • "This person, even though he uses a female name, in the sight of God is genetically still a man who has mutilated his body," said Mark Tooley, director of the United Methodist Committee of the conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy.
     

Copyright 2002, The Baltimore Sun

Name:
Email:
Comments

<Back to News