Dec. 27, 2004
A UMNS Report
By Linda Bloom*
Elizabeth “Beth” Stroud has decided to appeal the Dec. 2 decision by a
United Methodist trial court to revoke her ministerial credentials.
the associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in
Philadelphia, she had been found guilty of violating church law, which
forbids the participation of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” in the
ordained ministry. Stroud, 34, had publicly acknowledged that she was
living in a committed relationship with another woman.
a Dec. 27 telephone interview, Stroud told United Methodist News
Service that she would send a letter during the week to Bishop Marcus
Matthews of the denomination’s Philadelphia Area and Bishop Joseph
Yeakel, the retired bishop who presided over her trial, notifying them
of the appeal.
procedure allowed Stroud 30 days in which to appeal the court decision.
That appeal will be handled by the committee on appeal of the church’s
feel there were some questions the church needs to wrestle with that we
were not able to wrestle with at the trial,” she said about her
of her concerns is that Yeakel did not allow her counsel, the Rev. J.
Dennis Williams, to present testimony about the “overall message” of the
United Methodist Book of Discipline and how it related to her case.
had ruled before the trial that certain issues were not appropriate for
that trial court but should be considered by the church’s supreme court
or top legislative body.
Since the trial, Stroud has continued to work at First United Methodist Church of Germantown as a lay employee.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer in New York.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646)369-3759 or email@example.com.