Church trial of The Rev. Amy DeLong underway

For the seventh time in 20 years, The United Methodist Church is wrestling in a public church trial with the issue of homosexuality.

The Rev. Amy DeLong, a lesbian clergy member of the Wisconsin Annual (regional) Conference, faces two charges of violating church law and the possibility of losing her ministerial credentials. Her trial is underway at Peace United Methodist Church in Kaukauna, Wis.

The original presiding officer, retired Bishop Bruce Blake, has recused himself from the trial for personal reasons. Bishop Linda Lee of the Wisconsin Conference has selected retired Bishop Clay Foster Lee Jr., of Byram, Miss., as the new presiding officer. He retired in 1996 as bishop of the Holston Conference, which encompasses congregations in eastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and northern Georgia.

The Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, pastor of Faith Community Church in Greenville, Wis., is the counsel for the church at the request of Bishop Linda Lee. Lambrecht is also a board member of Good News, an unofficial evangelical caucus in the denomination, and will begin working for the group in July.

The Rev. Scott Campbell, pastor of Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Mass., is the counsel for DeLong, the respondent. He is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial caucus advocating for greater inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church.

A United Methodist News Service team, reporter Heather Hahn and Chief Photographer Mike DuBose,are covering the trial and will post coverage online atwww.umc.org, on theUMNS Facebookpage and onflickr.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Local Church
The Mississippi Conference and the congregation of First Methodist Church in Louisville, Miss., reached a settlement in a lawsuit over church property filed in 2018 after a majority of the congregation voted to withdraw from The United Methodist Church. This file photo shows the church sign in 2018. Photo courtesy of First Methodist Church.

Mississippi church property dispute settled

The Mississippi Conference and a Louisville, Mississippi, congregation settled a 2-year lawsuit filed after most of the congregation voted to leave The United Methodist Church.
The Rev. Thomas Kim. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

Enforced COVID-19 isolation recalls days in prison

The Rev. Thomas Kim reflects on how the enforced isolation recalls his time in prison. While that isolation is hard to take, he writes that it is nearly impossible to take the racism and xenophobia aimed at Asian Americans.
The Rev. Knut Refsdal. Photo by Karl A. Ellingsen

God’s role in times of crisis

Humanity has never found a good explanation for why there is suffering in the world. Why do so many seem to accept that bad answers are better than no answers?