Pastor's Wife, in Borrowed Stole, Conducts Same-Sex Ceremony
By Fred Jackson and Jody Brown
July 24, 2002
(AgapePress) - A United Methodist church in Nebraska appears to be paying a
price for being pro-homosexual -- and UMC officials say they have no plans
to discipline the pastor involved.
Pledges are down and volunteers are more scarce at Christ United Methodist
Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. The downturn comes in the wake of a "same-sex
commitment ceremony" performed by the church in late May. Associated Press
reports the church pastor, Jay Vetter, preceded that ceremony with what he
describes as a "lamentation" service, during which he lamented that his own
denomination would not allow him to conduct a service "celebrating" the
homosexual union of the two men. Vetter's wife, Maureen -- who is not an
ordained minister -- then performed the ceremony, wearing her husband's
The UMC's Nebraska Conference says it will not bring charges against Pastor
Vetter because he let his wife perform the ceremony in his place. And a
delegate to the denomination's General Conference says it does not appear
that Vetter violated church discipline.
But apparently some of the church members are upset about it. AP reports 200
church members met on Sunday to discuss the damage caused by the homosexual
event. At the meeting, one man said he wanted the pastor to apologize for
the ceremony or go to another church. But some supporters praised the
Vetters, saying their actions reflect a UMC ad campaign which talks about
"open hearts and open minds."
Many conservative Methodists have denounced the growing move within the
denomination to treat homosexuality as something that is accepted by God.
Church leaders in particular have come under sharp condemnation for
appearing to give greater priority to "political correctness" than upholding
Earlier this summer, the UMC's Baltimore-Washington Conference was
confronted not with the issue of homosexuality, but with the issue of
reinstating a Methodist pastor who had undergone a sex-change operation.
Because the denomination's Book of Discipline does not mention transgender
clergy, the Conference asked that the issue be studied and reported on at
the UMC's 2004 General Conference.
That individual, described by the United Methodist News Service as having
undergone "gender reassignment," eventually surrendered his ministerial
credentials and left the denomination. [See Related Article]
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