Trial set for lesbian Methodist pastor

Irene (Beth) Stroud could lose ministerial credentials
A lesbian United Methodist pastor whose case was suspended on a technicality will face trial in Pennsylvania December 1—the first case to be tried under the church’s tightened rules against noncelibate gay clergy.

Irene (Beth) Stroud, associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in Germantown, will face a jury of 13 pastors on charges that she violated a ban against “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy. Stroud triggered the trial when she announced her homosexuality to her congregation last year. Stroud has requested an open trial, which will be overseen by retired Bishop Joseph Yeakel at a church camp in Spring City.


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