Support the ministry of Rev. Anna Blaedel
Updates on complaint against Rev. Anna Blaedel in the UMC
The Committee On Investigation has voted to refer the bill of charges to trial. Rev. Anna Blaedel is “charged with the offense of practices declared by The United Methodist Church to be incompatible with Christian teachings, specifically being a self-avowed and practicing homosexual, pursuant to Paragraph 2702.1(b) of the Book of Discipline.”
The trial date, TBD, will be set by the Bishop of the Iowa AC.
Read Anna's reflection here.
WHO: Anna (they/them) is the co-founder and theologian-in-residence at enfleshed where they bring an attentiveness to the intersections of academic, activist, and ecclesial engagement. They are enrolled in a PhD program in Theological and Philosophical Studies at Drew University's Graduate Division on Religion. Due to challenges related to the ongoing complaints as well as the need to focus on dissertation writing, they recently stepped down from the position of Director of Spiritual Formation and Campus Minister for the University of Iowa Wesley Foundation where they now serve on a part-time basis.
WHAT: On Maundy Thursday of 2018, a third complaint was filed against Rev. Anna Blaedel on the basis of being "a self-avowed practicing homosexual" and clergy-person in The United Methodist Church.
Complaint #3 has been in process for a year and a half now and has contributed to significant vocational, relational, and financial losses. Anna has been strident in their witness to the belovedness of queer lives and loves, living faithfully to their beliefs and asking the the same of their colleagues.
The complaint is currently in the hands of the Committee On Investigation, tasked with "investigating the allegations made in the judicial complaint and to determine if reasonable grounds exist to bring a bill of charges and specifications to trial.” The hearing will take place on August 8, 2019. Anna will be accompanied by their legal counsel, Rev. Tyler Schwaller, and both of their families and beloveds.
You can read about the outcome of the preliminary hearing here.
WHY: In February of 2019, the UMC tightened its grip on anti-LGBTQ policies that have been in place for almost 50 years now. Countless queer people have been turned away from churches, their calling, their communities. You can read about the long-standing anti-queer policies in the UMC here.
If you are media or otherwise have questions about this process, please be in touch with Rev. M Barclay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to support Rev. Anna Blaedel's ongoing ministry, the below campaign will support their writing - for enfleshed and dissertation - their witness, and their additional contributions to the ministry of enfleshed.
Media about Rev. Blaedel
5/2/2019 - The Daily Iowan
Wesley Center’s openly queer pastor to resign amid church tensions
3/6/2019 - DesMoines Register
Iowa pastor expects to be shut out by United Methodist Church vote to continue LGBTQ ban
4/12/18 - Reconciling Ministries Network
7/7/2017 - United Methodist New Service
5/13/2017 – Salon
War over gay clergy brings a whole religion to “the brink of schism”
5/11/17 – The Washington Times
Campus minister faces church discipline for same-sex wedding
5/10/17 – CBS Iowa
Campus minister faces discipline after officiating same-sex wedding
5/10/17 – Iowa City Press-Citizen
Campus minister at UI facing complaint over officiating same-sex wedding
4/28/17 – ThinkProgress
United Methodist ‘supreme court’ set to rule on fate of first openly gay bishop
12/10/2016 – The Des Moines Register
Basu: Iowa pastor right to force church to confront LGBT issues