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© UNITED METHODIST NEWS SERVICE / MIKE DUBOSE

A time to split?

Covenant and schism in the UMC

When people choose to break the covenant that holds us together, there has to be some accountability,” said Rob Renfroe, a United Methodist pastor. He was commenting on the decision by a United Methodist court to strip pastor Frank Schaefer of his clergy credentials because he had conducted a same-sex wedding ceremony for his son and refused to promise to refrain from such actions in the future.

Renfroe, who heads a conservative movement in the United Methodist Church known as Good News, was alluding to specific language in the UMC’s governing document, the Book of Discipline, which calls clergy into a “covenant of mutual care and accountability.” This document has recently been amended to state that clergy who perform same-sex weddings are guilty of a “chargeable offense.”

 

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