Methodists Unofficially “Ordain” Non-Celibate Lesbian at General Conference

Barton Dempsey on May 13, 2016

A long-time lesbian activist was ordained Tuesday morning during an unofficial ceremony in a convention center corridor in protest at the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Oregon.

Sue Laurie was commissioned by United Methodist clergy while being surrounded by supporters and LGBT activists. Joining Laurie were a number of liberal caucus groups advocating for changes to United Methodist teachings, ordination standards, and prohibitions on non-celibate active gay clergy. The ceremony has no official standing in the denomination, which does not permit “self-avowed, practicing” homosexuals to be ordained.

Although Laurie’s ordination has no standing, the ceremony was timed in advance of expected votes on sexuality and marriage. Votes will be held over the coming two weeks at the denomination’s Portland gathering, while LGBT activists hope to elevate the issue. The United Methodist Church has experienced increasing instances of ecclesiastical disobedience with respect to this issue in recent years.

“All are welcome here and no one is excluded for any reason…you are welcome here if you are repentant, you are welcome here if you are unrepentant,” exclaimed the Rev. Amy DeLong, one of many people who laid hands on Laurie and joined in the ceremony. DeLong, a married lesbian United Methodist clergywoman, has been in a homosexual relationship with her partner for more than 20 years.

Throughout the ceremony activists waved banners and signs denouncing the current United Methodist discipline guidelines and sang, “Remember me, Remember me.” Organizers opened the ceremony to shouts of thanks, one participant shouted “He taught me the holy art of table flipping,” which was met by an exuberant “Amen” from the crowd.

After the laying on of hands and a prayer of commission the service concluded with a presentation of the Eucharist suffused with LGBT imagery, including rainbow-colored chalices. Laurie and her partner Julie Bruno, clothed in rainbow stoles, served the communion elements to participants, activists, and LGBT supporters.

Laurie earned her Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1995 and met her partner at Edinboro UMC in Pennsylvania. The couple are not new to protest ceremonies and were married outside of the 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

  1. Comment by Gregg on May 13, 2016 at 5:36 am

    A mock ordination and a mock eucharistic celebration from people with no sense of decorum and no sense of humor.

  2. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Somehow I doubt that their sense of humor was at stake, but then, I didn’t see how any of the ceremony would be a laughing matter anyway.
    So why can’t the Methodist Church evolve like the rest of Nature? You know, “Open doors, open arms, open hearts.”

  3. Comment by Gregg on May 15, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Not every aspect of evolution is desirable. Take for example, cancer. If you think cancer should be celebrated because it’s new to you and different and a natural byproduct of years of smoking, sun exposure, or what have you, then have at it.
    I, on the other hand, think it should be stopped in its tracks, excised, just like these contra-scriptural lobbyists in the UMC. They are a cancer on the Body of Christ.

  4. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 15, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Aside from your very strange analogy, I agree with you. A cancer should be excised!

    Oh, but wait, this isn’t a cancer!
    It’s human beings who love the Church enough to consecrate their marriage ceremony among fellow parishioners, in their church!

    Evolution involves EVERYTHING, the good stuff, and the bad. But I don’t believe our Churches can’t get their heads around the fact that people are different.

  5. Comment by Gregg on May 15, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    They are a cancer. They do not love the Church or the gospel. They despise both.

  6. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 16, 2016 at 8:31 am

    You are entitled to your opinion, regardless of whether intelligence or compassion play any part.

    So, now Cancer is a new euphemism?

  7. Comment by Gregg on May 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    No, cancer is not a new euphemism. It seems the euphemism is yours when you label apostasy, disobedience, and grandstanding as “evolution.”

  8. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    You’re right! Evolution probably doesn’t occur in some religions.
    I just think perhaps the time has come for the great schizm.

    As I see these issues being discussed and politely contemplated by those at the General Conference, maybe the best approach for accommodating the LGBT sector of the denomination, would be to recognize the existing Church as it is, allowing all it’s doctrine of prejudice and discipline to continue as it has. And to birth a NEW Methodist Church whereas Rev. Amy DeLong has proven that people of ALL lifestyles would be welcome.

    Do you think THAT would satisfy the Methodist Orthodoxy? Just a thought!

  9. Comment by Gregg on May 17, 2016 at 5:51 am

    MP – I agree with you. I would love to see the militant gay lobby of the UMC break off and form a new church. Finally, in 2016, the Church as Christ had always intended it to be will exist. Why has the world, and Christendom, been deprived for so long of this one, true Church? (Did you see them “politely discussing” their views at General Conference yesterday?)

    Of course, like every Church, this new, true Church of Christ, or whomever, will need to find a holy book. Certainly, the Bible will not do, what with all the killing, war, patriarchy, homophobia, intolerance, hate speech, oppressive rules about sexual morality, and in general “prejudice” and “discipline,” as you put it. Perhaps they could merge Chicken Soup for the Soul, Rules for Radicals, Dreams of My Father (and Mother), and Call me Cait into one new holy book.

    I am predicting, and praying for, great success!

    Chaz for Pope!

  10. Comment by Eternity Matters on May 13, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Alternate title: “In your face, God!!!”

    “All are welcome here and no one is excluded for any reason…you are welcome here if you are repentant, you are welcome here if you are unrepentant”

    That pretty much sums up the “Christian” Left: Making up a god in their own image who just happens to be perverted like them. Churchgoers who support “same-sex marriage” — i.e., the “Christian” Left — have nearly identical views to the world on a host of issues such as abortion, adultery, porn, etc.. It shows who their real father is.

    1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

    Jude 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

  11. Comment by Patrick98 on May 13, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Ummm, please explain to me why the writer of the article used the title “Rev.” for this person if her ordination has no official standing in the United Methodist denomination. Is she ordained by some other group? I am confused…

  12. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 13, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I am confused as well. Also, if Amy DeLong is openly lesbian and married to a lesbian, how can she be a UMC clergywoman?

  13. Comment by halehawk on May 13, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    A complaint was filed against her in about 2000. She was tried and sentenced to a one month suspension, and a written essay. Since then she legally married her partner (with another renegade UM pastor officiating).

  14. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 13, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you for that information. Shouldn’t that draw another complaint and an expulsion? If she can’t be ordained in that situation, according to the Book of Discipline, then she has to lose her ordination, correct?

    Or is this just another case of somebody who thinks the rules don’t apply to them, and there are people in a position of authority who agree?

  15. Comment by halehawk on May 13, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    The Book of Discipline does not specify the penalty for chargable offences. That is determined by the bishop (who seeks a “just resolution”) or the trial jury. Rev DeLong was tried in her own annual conference which is obviously reluctant to enforce the ordination standards in the Book of Discipline.

  16. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 13, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I see. Sounds like the penalty should be specified. Thanks for the details.

  17. Comment by halehawk on May 13, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    There are some great petitions pending that specify consequences…We’ll see if they pass.

  18. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 14, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I will pray that God’s will be done, and ask that He help the Christians of the UMC. He is righteous and cares for His people, whatever happens, but I certainly hope that the Christians win this one.

  19. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    All LGBT (Methodist) parishioners are Christian.

  20. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 16, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    As you are not a Christian, MarcoPolo, what is your qualification for saying so? Do you have a basis?

  21. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 17, 2016 at 7:59 am

    Are you able to determine that those who seek God’s acknowledgment and blessings (despite their sexual orientation), not to be Christians?

  22. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 17, 2016 at 9:48 am

    So you don’t have the qualification, and you don’t have a basis, other than whatever you happen to personally think is right, and you respond with a question to attempt to change the subject. If you were qualified, or had a basis, you would have provided it.

    God has the answer to what is right.

    “Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit God’s Kingdom. Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are expedient. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be brought under the power of anything. ‘Foods for the belly, and the belly for foods,’ but God will bring to nothing both it and them. But the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. Now God raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power. Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or don’t you know that he who is joined to a prostitute is one body? For, ‘The two’, he says, ‘will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Flee sexual immorality! ‘Every sin that a man does is outside the body,’ but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
    –Paul, in the 1st letter to the Corinthians, chapter 6, verses 9-20.

    “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that one has his father’s wife. You are puffed up, and didn’t rather mourn, that he who had done this deed might be removed from among you. For I most certainly, as being absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as though I were present, judged him who has done this thing. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole lump? Purge out the old yeast, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed in our place. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old yeast, neither with the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortionists, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person. For what have I to do with also judging those who are outside? Don’t you judge those who are within? But those who are outside, God judges. ‘Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.'”
    –Paul, in the 1st letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5, verses 1-13.

    Your professing LGBT Christians are an abomination to God, and so must be turned over to Satan, expelled from the Church. That is what God commands of Christians. If they wish to seek God’s acknowledgement and blessing, they must first put away their wickedness. Until then, precisely because they claim the name of a brother, Christians must not associate with them in any way, nor allow them any place in the body of Christ.

    Your complaint isn’t with the Christians, MarcoPolo. It is with God. And I suspect you must know that the God of the Bible is the true God, or else you won’t spend so much time attacking the people of God on this forum. After all, if you were a sincere Buddhist, this would have no more importance to you than anything else you weren’t a part of and didn’t believe. You attack the people of God because you know what the truth is, and you hate it, and the God who gave it. That’s a very dangerous place to be, MarcoPolo.

  23. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 17, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Damn! You sure do go on, and on, and on…..!
    I don’t need a sermon, so save your breath!

    Inheriting the Kingdom? Really? Is there such a thing?

    May you continue in good health.
    I love you too.

  24. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 17, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I can see I’ve hit the nail on the head.

    Stop fighting God, MarcoPolo. Yes, you will have to change your mind (metanoia) and see things God’s way. But you know what? There’s a peace in that I can’t describe to you.

    You don’t want to hear it from me? Okay. But if you continue to hang around Christians, you can’t expect them not to talk to you about Christ.

  25. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 17, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I hang around all kinds of people.
    My nephew is a Minister, my sisters are Evangelical, and many of my Gay and Lesbian friends and family, are Christian. So I’m nearly covered over with that variety, but that doesn’t demand that I believe the same way they all do!

    I’m a compassionate and empathetic person.
    That alone is sufficient to make me an equal in the eyes of God…whom ever, or whatever that is!


  26. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 18, 2016 at 1:49 am

    “I’m a compassionate and empathetic person. That alone is sufficient to make me an equal in the eyes of God”

    Because you say so? Interesting.

  27. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 18, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Not because I said so, but rather, because Nature provides most humans with those characteristics. And since Nature is also God, that should be far less mystical to understand!

  28. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 18, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Nature is God? I see no evidence of that. “Nature” is merely God’s creation. Nor do I see any reason to assume compassion and empathy are provided by “Nature” to most humans.

    All this still seems to be coming back to your say-so MarcoPolo.

  29. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 18, 2016 at 9:54 am

    What else would you expect from Pantheist?

    Much like many primitive native tribes believe(d), Nature is virtually EVERYTHING! That is sufficient for little o’ me.

  30. Comment by Oshtur on May 17, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    No way. The New Testament states very plainly that unrepentant homosexuals will not enter heaven. You can lie to each other, but God has the last word.

  31. Comment by halehawk on May 13, 2016 at 10:08 am

    This article does not mention what happened next. This group set up an alternative “gay friendly” communion station ON THE FLOOR of the General Conference, and invited people to receive the previously “consecrated” communion elements from them instead of joining in the communion of the rest of the congregation. Two bishops chose to take “communion” from this table. My question is WHY were they permitted to do this on the floor of General Conference? Who allowed it?

    If I were attending the conference in Portland, I would have qualms about receiving Holy Communion at all while the church is so obviously divided. (1 Corinthians 11)

  32. Comment by Ella Pauline on May 13, 2016 at 10:21 am

    A view from the UMC pew: You point to something that has been bothering me about this particular group for a long time: their free and easy use of the sacraments, especially communion. And nobody says or does anything. From the flip side, if they feel empowered to ordain and consecrate communion elements, why do they even need the UMC–they have declared they are a church unto themselves; they have clearly stated they do not need the UMC!

  33. Comment by halehawk on May 13, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Guaranteed appointments with salaries…

  34. Comment by Mark Brooks on May 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I believe you have hit the nail on the head. So-called “liberal Christians” don’t like Bible-believers, but they like their money.

  35. Comment by Eternity Matters on May 13, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Great point. The Bible-believers are too scared of being called haters by the “Christian” Leftist wolves so they let them get away with all sorts of things like this.

  36. Comment by Doug Mays on May 13, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I’m disappointed in you, IRD. As Patrick98 pointed out below, Sue Laurie is NOT “the Rev. Sue Laurie.” Neither were she and her partner in filth “married outside of the 2008 General Conference.” How much better it would have been had you written, “Pretenders made mockery of United Methodist ordination by acting as though they could ordain a woman who disqualifies herself from ordination by her proud participation in a practice which United Methodism has repeatedly held to be ‘incompatible with Christian teaching'”! And, as Texas had not in 2008 been put in the ungodly position of issuing marriage licenses for perversions of marriage by five left-wing activists posing as justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, there was not even a sick parody of a marriage performed in Fort Worth in 2008. Words mean things. For all of your good work I commend you. But please be more careful in the future about calling something that is not and never will be as though it is.

  37. Comment by Patrick98 on May 13, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you Doug Mays. In my denomination (not the UMC) a person who is not ordained as a minister is NOT entitled to use the title “Reverend” before their name. Why Barton Dempsey used that title for Sue Laurie is a mystery to me.

  38. Comment by Jonathan Goetz on May 14, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Perhaps the punishment ought to be crucifiction, like the teachers of the law did to Jesus after accusing him of acting outside his authority.

  39. Comment by MarcoPolo on May 14, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Please, NO martyrs in this day and age for a “Middle of the road” denomination.
    That’s why so many people like Methodism, it isn’t caught up in all the dogma and constrictions like the Catholic church.

    If some Methodists like Mark Tooley, et al, wish to return to the “Dark Ages” of Protestantism, good luck and good riddance!

  40. Comment by Patrick98 on May 14, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Jonathan, the crucifixion of Jesus is historical fact, attested not only in the gospels but in other sources as well, such as the historian Josephus. If you don’t believe me (and it appears you won’t, since you don’t believe the gospels) perhaps you will believe a skeptic such as Bart Ehrman, who does believe a Jew named Jesus was crucified.

  41. Comment by Marshall P on May 17, 2016 at 11:11 am

    The word is “crucifixion.” Is English your second language?

  42. Comment by Dave Chaffin on May 14, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Actually proud of their unrepentance. Scary stuff.

  43. Comment by PadreDave on May 14, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Perhaps that group can ‘ordain’ a few bishops and start their own denomination. Just thinking.

  44. Comment by Theodore Fenton on May 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but people who stage parodies of Christian rituals are called “Satanists,” aren’t they?

  45. Comment by John Doll on May 17, 2016 at 5:14 am

    The UMC will cave one day for certain. Homosexual deception is smothering the earth.

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