After more than six hours of deliberations, a jury of 13 United Methodist clergy voted 9-4 to suspend the Rev. Amy DeLong for 20 days beginning July 1.
The suspension, the jury wrote, is to be used for spiritual discernment in preparation for a process seeking to restore the broken clergy covenant relationship.
The process is to include:
- An open and collaborative communication, which shall include the Rev. Amy DeLong; Wisconsin Area Bishop Linda Lee, the Rev. Jorge Mayorga Solis (DeLong’s district superintendent), the Rev. Richard Strait (chair of the Wisconsin Conference Board of Ordained Ministry), and a Wisconsin United Methodist elder of DeLong’s choosing.
- DeLong will initiate a written document outlining procedures for clergy in order to help resolve issues that harm the clergy covenant, create an adversarial spirit or lead to future clergy trials. The document shall be informed by the Bible, the 2008 Book of Discipline, Judicial Council rulings and other relevant materials.
- DeLong will write the first draft in collaboration with the persons named above and will present that draft to the conference board of ordained ministry by Jan. 1.
- After review and edit by DeLong and the people named in the first point, the final document will be completed in time to be distributed to the clergy of the Wisconsin Conference before the 2012 annual conference gathering, to be acted on in the 2012 clergy session.
Failure by DeLong to comply with the requirements will result in a suspension from the exercise of the functions of an ordained elder of The United Methodist Church for a period of a year beginning June 3, 2012.
Approval of a penalty by the jury required at least seven votes.