Rev. Amy DeLong was convicted in June of performing a 2009 same-sex wedding in Menominee, Wisconsin in violation of United Methodist Church rules. A jury suspended the Rev. Amy DeLong from ministerial duties for 20 days, beginning July 1, noting the time is to be used for “spiritual discernment.” The jury also ordered DeLong to draft a document outlining issues that harm United Methodist Church’s clergy covenant with help of church leaders by January 1, 2012. That document is to be presented to the annual conference of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church in summer 2012. If DeLong does not meet that deadline, she will be suspended for one year, beginning in June 2012.
The Rev. Scott Campbell, counsel for DeLong, asked the jury to think about the broader implications of their decision and invoked movements in secular culture to embrace same-sex relationships, including the repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and a recent United Nations resolution affirming gay rights. Change is coming in the church and in the world,” Campbell said. “Signs are all around us in the church and in the world.” Campbell said church leaders have resisted that change and used church law as “a club to coerce our clergy into violating their own consciences.” “This is not violation of covenant, but rather a vindication of conscience,” Campbell continued. “These are not the seeds of schism but the sowing of our salvation. We are not engaged in the abrogation of accountability, but in the creation of community. God is bringing forth something new in our midst.” (From http://www.postcrescent.com)
Rev. Campbell was honored at Sing a New Song for his outstanding efforts in Rev. DeLong’s defense.