Iliff to Host Rev. Amy DeLong, April 2-3
March 20, 2012
ILIFF TO HOST REV. AMY DELONG
—Pro same-sex union; the United Methodist Church tried DeLong for marrying a lesbian couple; when will mainline denominations support same sex unions—
Denver – The Iliff School of Theology will host Rev. Amy DeLong, a United Methodist pastor from Osceola, Wis., April 2 – 3 (see events schedule) for events in which she will discuss her views and position on same-sex unions. In 2011, DeLong was sanctioned by the church for marrying a lesbian couple in 2009, which is against church doctrine.
Last summer during a four-day church trial, similar to a criminal trial, DeLong, 45, faced a jury of church elders in Kaukauna, Wis. At issue was whether she violated the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline (which guides the church’s teachings), by blessing the same sex union she performed and for being a “self avowed, practicing homosexual.”
The 13-member jury acquitted her on the charge of her sexuality, found her guilty of violating church doctrine by performing a same-sex wedding. The church sanctioned DeLong by suspending her from religious duties for 20 days. Additionally, DeLong is drafting possible procedures for the United Methodist clergy to resolve issues that “harm the clergy covenant, create an adversarial spirit or lead to future clergy trials.” Quoted in the Friday, Jul. 1, 2011, edition of TIME.
“DeLong’s message is clear and her visit to Iliff is timely,” said M. Celeste Jackson, assistant director of Diversities and Community Relations, Iliff School of Theology. “As church leadership will soon look at next-steps relating to long-held tradition; the question of whether state laws must be recognized within the church becomes the seminal concern, as more states approve same-sex unions.”
Policies on homosexuality will be evaluated in April at the United Methodist General Conference taking place in Tampa, Fla., Apr. 24 – May 4.
In Colorado, discussion continues on issues of whether same-sex couples should be granted rights similar to married couples. In February, Colorado Republicans and Democrats sparred over the matter, which failed to gain approval in Senate Committee following considerable debate. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who supports Civil Union, encouraged state lawmakers to pass civil union or gay marriage laws during his State of the Union speech in January. Colorado Legislators will revisit the bill during the current Legislative Session. About a dozen states allow either civil unions or same-sex marriage.
The Iliff School of Theology is a graduate theological school related to the United Methodist Church, serving more than 38 different faith traditions. Founded in 1892, the school provides several degree programs, including a Joint Ph.D. Program with the University of Denver.
REV. DELONG EVENTS SCHEDULE: APRIL 2-3, 2012
April 2, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
“Living on the Edge: A Conversation with Rev. DeLong for Clergy and Church Professionals”
Description: Iliff is proud to sponsor this event for clergy and church professionals. During “Living on the Edge,” DeLong will engage this group in dialogue and share her personal experience (having stood trial for performing a same-sex wedding and for being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual. DeLong is drafting possible procedures for the Methodist clergy to resolve issues that “harm the clergy covenant, create an adversarial spirit or lead to future clergy trials.”
Location: University Park United Methodist Church, Osbourne Parlor, 2180 S. University Blvd., Denver, (80210); this event is free and open to the public.
Editor’s Note, for publishing: For program information, please contact Rev. Dr. Catherine Kelsey,
April 2, 5 p.m.
“An Evening with Rev. DeLong”
Description: “An Evening with Rev. DeLong” presented by Iliff student groups, the United Methodist Society, SAC and FLAME. DeLong is an eloquent speaker and writer, who witnesses passionately for the full inclusion of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people in the life and ministry of the church.
Location: Iliff Great Hall, located at 2201 S. University Blvd., Denver (80210); this event is free and open to the public.
April 3, 4:40 p.m.
Rev. Amy DeLong Preaches Sacred Time
Description: Iliff Sacred Time featuring Rev. Amy DeLong. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church DeLong witnesses passionately for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the life and ministry of the church. Iliff student groups, the United Methodist Society, SAC and FLAME sponsor this Sacred Time.
Location: Iliff Chapel (3rd floor Iliff Hall), 2201 S. University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210; this event is free and open to the public.
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