A Methodist minister from Pennsylvania who was defrocked as a clergyman in December for refusing to stop performing same-sex marriages is scheduled to return to D.C.’s Foundry United Methodist Church on Jan. 26.
Ex-pastor Frank Schaefer will deliver guest sermons at a service for “hope and justice” at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on the 26th, according to a statement released by Foundry. Foundry’s pastor, Rev. Dean Snyder, is a longtime ally of the LGBT community and has performed same-sex marriages.
The statement says two other United Methodist ministers who were defrocked will also participate in the services – Jimmy Creech and Beth Stroud. Church officials revoked Creech’s credentials as a Methodist minister in 1999 after he performed a holy union ceremony for a gay male couple in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Stroud was defrocked in 2001 after coming out as a lesbian while assigned as a minister for a United Methodist Church in Philadelphia.
Schaefer, Creech, Stroud and others will participate in a panel discussion at the church following the 11 a.m. worship service, the Foundry statement says.
“Foundry is on the forefront of full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the life of the church,” the statement says, adding that Foundry continues to push for the United Methodist Church to end the “discriminatory language” related to LGBT people in its Book of Discipline or church law.