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The Seattle Post Intelligencer is reporting on the beginning of a United Methodist Trial for an itinerant elder accused of violating church law for living in an active lesbian relationship. If this woman is convicted she could lose her ordination and the right to serve in the UMC.

The article can be found at: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/165307_ministertrial18.html

Please read the article before you respond. Thank you.

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2004


For more information on this very interesting issue before the UMC please see also:


This is from the UMC website and it gives all the details on this without bias.

I would appreciate that you not throw bible verses at me without placing them in their historical-critical context. You do not have to I would just appreciate that.

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2004

I read the article. If the minister, Rev. Karen Dammann, is an openly-practicing lesbian (it is quite obvious, with her holding hands with her lover in the newspaper article) and the United Methodist church forbids "self-avowed, practicing homosexuals" from serving as clergy, then she broke the law of that particular denomination. It is probably way too late, as the woman is being brought up on charges and probably will not be able to get a recommendation from anyone in the denomination. However, I would suggest that the woman transfer her orders as soon as possible to the United Church of Christ, as they have an "open and affirming" church policy, welcoming members and clergy who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered.

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2004

I read the accounts on Rev. Dammann, it struck me that evidently the UMC position is not clear on this issue because she notified the church in 2001, in a 5 to 2 decision she was cleared of charges, and now in 2004 she is back before the church. I am terrified that my own beloved AME church has no clear position on issues such as this either. And you can bet your bottom dollar if there are no clear prohibitions on homosexuality, today's population will surely challenge the church's position!

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2004

Sister Ransom,

The A.M.E. Church has a position on this matter.

In a previous thread, the A.M.E. Church has said that it does not ordain openly gay people. That statement is posted on the ame church web page...

The Discpline refers to a "Sexual Misconduct" book....Any minister found guilty of violating the rules in this book (which to my knowledge focuses on homosexuality, adultery, and pedophilia to name 3) can be suspended, stripped of their ordination papers and/or their pastorate

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2004

Reverend Harper, I pray that the A.M.E. Manual on Sexual Misconduct is more definitive than the Discipline, which only outlines the consquences for 1st, 2nd & 3rd "consequences"/offenses for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation, oh well, what do I know? What I do know is, we are living in a very decadent age and it is rearing its head any where an opening is found. I shudder to think about where we as a society will be in 20 years!

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2004

Sis Ransom,

I don't have a copy of the book (but will get it sometime this year), so I took a wild stab at the contents, based on what sexual practices are currently against local, state, federal, and/or God's law. I found it amusing that the church needed to define what sexual misconduct is, when the Bible does an excellent job already.

I agree with you that we are living in a very decadent society. We need to dig out the history books to see what happened to the other nations (Rome and Babylon for example) that indulged every whim of the flesh.

But as Paul said, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" - 2nd Timothy 3:1-5

At this rate, unless change is made, I don't think humankind will make it 20 years.

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2004

Rev. Harper I looked in the book of discipline for the AMEC and I did not see any reference to homosexual clergy at all in the book. I do not have the clergy manual on sexual misconduct, but doesn't it seem interesting that the "book" has nothing to say on the topic. You mention some sexual misconduct issues but they primarily deal with the issue of sexual harrassment which became a major issue in the church when several churches, conferences and episcopal districts were hit with liability suits.

-- Anonymous, March 20, 2004

I think the day has come when all AME's need to be aware of what is in the A.M.E. Manual on Sexual Misconduct, which is available at the A.M.E. Publishing House, and is required reading by all A.M.E. clergy. (page 340 of the 2000 "book").

-- Anonymous, March 22, 2004

If We, As members of the AME church would follow the discipline and the ministers book on sexual conduct or misconduct. A lot church would be w/o pastors and lot district w/o presiding prelates and presiding officers and presiding elders...U just wait to general conference everything and everybody comes out the perspective closet with types of behavior...At leat thats what i have been told by persons who have been to general conference ordained and lay...How about that...

-- Anonymous, March 29, 2004

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