And what a sermon. Here it is in full.
It was given by Frank Schaefer (no, not that one– different spelling) who was defrocked by the United Methodist Church last week for officiating at his son’s marriage to another man.
Whatever your theological stance on this issue (it will not surprise you that I am with Frank) you have to admire this man’s courage.
Frank said this;
Being a United Methodist minister is the only way I know how to minister. All of my children have been baptised in the United Methodist Church. It was our church. This is our church.
I knew that I had to confess what in my heart I knew to be true, and I had to stand against the church – not the entire church – but the institution of the United Methodist organisation to say “I believe that this rule is discriminatory and wrong”, and I knew I had to tell my lawyers that.
And so when I sat in the stand, and it came to that moment to share about my true faith, and to stand against the church. I was sick to my stomach. And I was thinking, “can I actually get those words out”? And as I was in that moment, I looked out into the room, and I saw my family. Behind my family there were people sitting. Some of the people were from this church, wearing rainbow stoles. And all of a sudden it was like I could feel their prayers, and I heard myself say to the jury: “I will put on this stole, this rainbow colored stole, as a sign that I will from now on stand in advocacy of the LGBT community of our church”.
And I heard myself say, “I want you to know, that if I am going to be a United Methodist minister tomorrow, I will not refuse ministry to anyone based on their sexual orientation.”
And I heard myself say:
I can no longer be a silent supporter. I will always be an advocate and I will tell the church that these laws are discriminatory. And that we treat our LGBT brothers and sisters as second-class Christians, and that the hate, the hate speech of the church has to stop.