What was first intended as an act of kindness has now become a major headache for one Methodist pastor.
According to NBC Washington’s News4, Drew Ensz is a Methodist minister in Northern Virginia and director of the Arise Campus Minister at George Mason University in Fairfax. But, Ensz’s high position doesn’t keep him from administrative oversight. Ensz may now face punishment for officiating a same-sex wedding. Ensz officiated the wedding this past September because one of the partners is a youth minister and a former member of his congregation.
“I know Drew well enough to know that he made a pastoral decision for a couple that he was in a pastoral relationship with,” Rev. Beth Givens said. “I think he did it faithfully and he did it out of his heart of love for the people he knows and the people that he serves.”
Unfortunately, the United Methodist Church has a ban on same-sex marriage and the inclusion of LGBTQ clergy members. These bans were also supported by a major conference of Methodist delegates back in February. Many saw this conference’s votes as another strike in an already divided Christian denomination.
But with the bans still in effect, there were plenty of individuals poised to be offended by Ensz’s act. In fact, two complaints were filed against Ensz. As a result, Ensz was called to meet with Bishop Sharma D. Lewis at the Virginia United Methodist Center outside Richmond on Tuesday.
“Bishop Sharma D. Lewis is prayerfully reviewing this situation. She has met with those involved and is evaluating all relevant information. Now is a time for prayer, reflection and deeply respectful dialogue among all in The United Methodist Church,” the bishop’s office said in a statement to News4.
Source: NBC Washington