The Committee on Investigation
for the Wisconsin Annual Conference
of the United Methodist Church
In the Matter of Rev. Amy Delong, Respondent
December 10, 2010
The Committee on Investigation for the Wisconsin Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (“Committee”), after a duly noticed hearing on December 7, 2010 pursuant to ¶2706.4 of the Discipline, and after considering the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing by the Wisconsin Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church (“Wisconsin Annual Conference”) and the Respondent, Rev. Amy Delong, sends forward the following Bill of Charges and Specifications pursuant to ¶2706.5 of the Discipline.
Rev. Amy Delong has shown extraordinary courage to step forward and freely acknowledge her sexual orientation, and her commitment to be in ministry to all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation.
The Judicial Complaint is based on chargeable offenses in ¶2702.1b of the Discipline arising from Rev. Delong’s sexual orientation. These charges present a fundamentally unjust circumstance. The Committee is required to consider whether reasonable grounds support these chargeable offenses, yet Chargeable offenses based on sexual orientation are inconsistent with Social Principles in the Discipline that address Human Sexuality and Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation.
The Social Principles in the Discipline are foundational. They represent the General Conference’s prayerful and thoughtful effort to speak to the human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as historically demonstrated in United Methodist traditions. And while they are not to be considered church law, the Social Principles provide the official summary of stated convictions of the United Methodist Church that seek to apply the Christian vision of righteousness to social and other issues.
In contrast to the Social Principles, ¶2702.1b of the Discipline represents church law, and is unambiguous. Members of the Committee are charged with the responsibility to uphold the Discipline and are prohibited by ¶2706.5 from deviating from the Discipline for reasons of conscience or otherwise. By honoring that responsibility and sending forward this Bill of Charges and Specifications, the Committee fears that the United Methodist Church, and specifically the Wisconsin Annual Conference, is at grave risk of forever losing the infinite talents, gifts and grace that gay and lesbian clergy bring to make the United Methodist Church a better, stronger more vibrant place for United Methodists to worship and continue on their own faith journeys.
Bill of Charges
The Respondent is charged with conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions in violation of ¶2702.1b of the Discipline.
The Respondent is charged with being a self-avowed practicing homosexual in violation of ¶2702.1b of the Discipline.