Irene Elizabeth (Beth) Stroud is a United Methodist pastor, ordained in 1997, whose credentials as an ordained minister were revoked because she is in a committed relationship with another woman. The United Methodist Book of Discipline prohibits "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" from being appointed as pastors. She had been an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG), in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she still serves as a lay leader. The congregation of FUMCOG, as well as many other United Methodists, disagree with the United Methodist Church's position and support Beth Stroud.
On July 23, 2004 and again on October 11, 2004, an investigating committee voted to send the case to a church trial. At the trial on December 2, 2004, the jury found her guilty of "violating 2702 1b of the Book of Discipline by engaging in a practice declared by the United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teaching" and stripped her of her credentials as an elder in the United Methodist Church.
On April 29, 2005, the Northeast Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals reversed the ruling. Bishop Marcus Matthews restored her credentials, and appealed the case to the Judicial Council. He offered Beth an appointment at FUMCOG, which she refused because she did not want to take an official appointment while the legal process was still ongoing.
In a ruling released on October 31, 2005, the Judicial Council once again removed Stroud's credentials. The same day, they approved another pastor's refusal to admit a gay man to his congregation.
See also Edit
- Homosexuality and Christianity
- List of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality#Methodism
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