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Eighty percent of congregation quits after Indiana church forces out gay choir director

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2014 at 3:57 AM
  • 22 Replies
1 mom liked this


By David Edwards
Monday, January 13, 2014 11:48 EST
Photo: Priest wearing purple robe gives sermon via Shutterstock
 
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A church in Indiana has seen about 80 percent of its members leave after a gay choral director was forced out over his sexual orientation.

Adam Fraley told The Herald Bulletin that he worked for the United Methodist Church in Alexandria for six years and attended with his partner. When a new minister took over the church last year, Fraley said that he resigned because of pressure about his sexual orientation.

United Methodist Church law allows LGBT people to attend church services but says “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve.”

Many members of the church, who supported Fraley, were at odds over what it meant to “serve.”

Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church Communication Director told The Herald Bulletin that LGBT people were only prohibited from being ordained as ministers and that all other posts could be decided by church leadership.

“Any other leadership positions should be filled at the discretion of the congregation and the minister,” Gangler explained.

The disagreement over whether Fraley should have been allowed to keep his job has caused a divide between the church and members like David Steele.

Steele said that he pushed the new interim minister, David Mantor, to re-hire Fraley. But Mantor was unconformable with Fraley’s sexual orientation. And instead, Steele was asked to resign his position in church leadership. When Steele refused, the district superintendent personally held a meeting to relieve him of duty.

According to Steele and his wife, Nancy, about 80 percent of the church’s congregation had stopped attending because of the way Fraley was treated.

“They all embraced him,” Nancy Steele pointed out. “They’re upset about the way he was treated.”

“It’s almost like he’s hijacked the church,” David Steele added. “He is completely going against what the church body wants.”

[Photo: Priest wearing purple robe gives sermon via Shutterstock]

http://www.rawstory.com/...

(h/t: Friendly Atheist)

by on Jan. 14, 2014 at 3:57 AM
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Replies (1-10):
turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Jan. 14, 2014 at 4:05 AM
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oh well...another church bites the dust :-)

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 5:32 AM
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Good.
It's a smart thing you made sure the church would back you up before doing that. Pay your salary out of the collection plate now, ya bigot.
AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 5:38 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm really surprised it was a Methodist . Most of the pastors I've met have been relatively liberal and inclusive. They'd prefer to see your butt in a pew than quibble over your sins enough to drive you away.

I'm sure this new minister was only thinking of the children.
sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 6:21 AM
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I think this of all churches or rather why many don't feel this way

If you feel they are sinners or worse sinners than everyone else

Wouldn't you want them in church?

No matter how long it takes to "save" them...

If a rapist or murderer can get into heaven by an end of life "conversion" why not give gays the same shot...

Just seems stupid if you are selling salvation that you would turn away people that you say need it...

But maybe people are waking up to the stupidity of it all.


Quoting AdrianneHill: I'm really surprised it was a Methodist . Most of the pastors I've met have been relatively liberal and inclusive. They'd prefer to see your butt in a pew than quibble over your sins enough to drive you away.



I'm sure this new minister was only thinking of the children.
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jhslove
by Bronze Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 6:22 AM
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Good for the congregation for standing up for their beliefs in this way! The church has a right to hire or not hire whomever they want, but to take  a step like this without making sure your actions actually reflect the beliefs and values of the congregation was pretty dumb. Actions come with consequences.....

Sounds like another case of the new guy on a power trip, wanting to flex his muscles without stopping to get his finger on the pulse of the community he's serving.

It's important for stories like this to get out there--people need to know that there ARE religious communities that are inclusive and welcoming to LGBT people. This article is another good read.

momtoscott
by Gold Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:07 AM
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I hope the choral director finds another church job soon--and that the new minister does, too, in a different profession.  

annabl1970
by Platinum Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 7:20 AM
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Good for them!
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jcrew6
by Silver Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 8:24 AM

This is the way it SHOULD be.  Let the people directly invovled make their choice and let it be heard..  Not the scenarios where activist groups jump the gun and MAKE an issue in an area they are not even directly invovled in.  

jcrew6
by Silver Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Agreed.  And I thought the Methodist Social creed was more "diverse".  Maybe I am wrong.  I research them back in 2007 when we lived in a smaller town and were looking for a church. 

Quoting AdrianneHill: I'm really surprised it was a Methodist . Most of the pastors I've met have been relatively liberal and inclusive. They'd prefer to see your butt in a pew than quibble over your sins enough to drive you away.

I'm sure this new minister was only thinking of the children.


TranquilMind
by Platinum Member on Jan. 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM
This was not handled well, nor does it sound like the parameters of what "serving" entails are clear at all.

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