Ruling sought on transgender pastor in Methodist Church

Officials considering reappointment
United Methodist clergy in the Baltimore-Washington area have asked their bishop and the denomination’s high court to review a recent decision to reappoint a transgender pastor.

Bishop John R. Schol said he would reappoint Drew Phoenix, 48, to St. John’s United Methodist Church in Baltimore, where he has served for five years. Phoenix, formerly Ann Gordon, changed his gender and name after a medical procedure about a year ago. United Methodist clergy are reappointed or given new assignments annually.

Phoenix, ordained in 1989, spoke to both a closed clergy session and a plenary session of the Baltimore-Washington Conference on May 24. In his plenary statement, he said he hoped that fellow Methodists “will commit ourselves to becoming educated about the complexity of gender and gender identity and open ourselves to those in our congregations who identify as transgender,” reported United Methodist News Service.


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