6 p.m. EDT June 23: Jury votes to suspend Wisconsin pastor

A jury of 13 United Methodist clergy in the church trial of the Rev. Amy DeLongvoted 9-4 to suspend the pastor for a period of 20 days, beginning in July. The jury convicted DeLong on a charge of performing a same-sex union in violation of church law. Details were to be announced soon after the decision became known at 6 p.m. EST Thursday.

The same jury Wednesday found DeLong not guilty in a unanimous decision of the charge of being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” Her conviction on the same-sex union violation came on a 12-1vote.DeLong has been a clergy member in Wisconsin for 14 years and is director of an advocacy group. In 2009, she agreed to officiate at a service for a lesbian couple, and she and her longtime partner registered under Wisconsin’s Domestic Partnership Law.

United Methodist News Service reporter Heather Hahn and photographer Mike DuBose are covering the trial and will post coverage here as well as on the UMNS Facebook page and Flickr.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Church Growth
The Rev. Lovett H. Weems Jr. Photo courtesy of Wesley Theological Seminary.

Young elder numbers near historic low

United Methodist clergy age study shows modest growth period has been followed by drops in the number of both men and women elders under age 35.
Racism
The Rev. David Maldonado. Video image courtesy of IMU Latina (Iglesia Metodista Unida Latina) via YouTube by UM News.

Racism and Latinos: The wall of separation and fear

The U.S.-Mexico border wall speaks volumes about attitudes toward Latinos, and the church must do more to respond.
Local Church
Asbury Memorial Church in Savannah, Ga., is leaving The United Methodist Church in support of LGBTQ inclusion. The church, with more than 300 members, is the first since 2016 to leave expressly in opposition to the denomination’s bans on same-sex weddings and “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy. Photo courtesy of Asbury Memorial Church.

Church exits denomination for LGBTQ equality

The United Methodist Church has seen multiple disaffiliations lately, but a Georgia church is the first in recent years to leave expressly in support of its LGBTQ members.