INTEGRITY STANDS WITH METHODIST MINISTER FRANK SCHAEFER
Boston, MA - December 19, 2013 - Integrity stands with those supporting the Rev. Frank Schaefer in his courageous witness to LGBT inclusion. On Thursday, United Methodist Church officials defrocked the central Pennsylvania pastor who officiated his son's gay wedding and, after being suspended, defiantly refused to resign.
We extend our heartfelt prayers to Schaefer and his family, and to all faithful United Methodists around the world who have been injured by these events. Integrity decries the church action. Moreover, we are grateful for the sacrifices made by Schaefer and by all in our own denomination and beyond who have risked their hopes, dreams, and livelihood rather than betray their own LGBT sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters.
Integrity's Vice President of National Affairs, the Rev. Jon M. Richardson said, "I am humbled and inspired by the witness of Frank Schaefer. As a former United Methodist and the gay son of a United Methodist clergy person, I feel acutely the pain we share with our sisters and brothers in the UMC as they continue to wait for the day when they can live more fully into their Open hearts, open minds, open doors mantra. As the Episcopal Church continues to live more deeply into our calling to collaborative ministry with the United Methodist Church, I pray that we will continue to support those stepping forward to seize the opportunities for evangelism and to join the growing ecumenical movement that are a part of welcoming and celebrating all of God's people in the church."
We at Integrity recommit ourselves to work with our allies across denominations to “Believe Out Loud” that the full inclusion of LGBT people in our churches becomes not just a slogan but a welcoming reality.