A United Methodist pastor in South Carolina has filed a complaint against all Western Jurisdiction bishops, accusing them of violating church law with the consecration of the denomination’s second openly gay and married bishop.
The Rev. W. Timothy McClendon, senior pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Aiken, South Carolina and former episcopal candidate himself, also has taken the highly unusual step of posting the complaint online and inviting other United Methodists to sign on.
The United Methodist complaint process typically takes place in strict confidentiality, especially when there is no criminal allegation involved. As of this writing, more than 550 United Methodists from around the globe have added their names to the complaint.
“I contend that the action and/or inaction of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops has caused significant harm,” McClendon’s complaint said before listing ways he sees the consecration undermining his and other United Methodists’ ministry.
The complaint comes after simultaneous regional meetings of the five U.S. jurisdictions earlier this month signaled a shift, at least among American United Methodists, toward a more LGBTQ-welcoming denomination. It also comes as The United Methodist Church — like other Protestant denominations before it — is seeing mounting church disaffiliations after decades of intensifying debate about the status of LGBTQ people in church life.
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Source: United Methodist News