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Unfaithful UM Bishop Gives Tacit Approval for Pastor's Wife To Conducts Same-Sex Ceremony To Circumvent Church Law

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 stole.

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 God's Word.

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]

2002 AgapePress all rights reserved.


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