From Called Out Information Service
On Sunday April 27, The Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud preached a sermon at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown, in which she explained and illuminated her calling to be a UM pastor. She also spoke of her lesbian identity and introduced her covenanted partner, Chris Paige, to the congregation.
Irene E. Stroud has been associate pastor at FUMC since 1999 She preaches regularly and has primary responsibility for Christian Education programs. She holds an M.Div. degree from Union Theological Seminary and an A.B. in English from Bryn Mawr College.
April 27, 2003
Walking in Light
John 20:19-31, 1 John 1:1-2:2
First in the series "Intertwined with Jesus"
Preacher: Beth Stroud
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples met were locked for fear of their own people, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." [BIG SNIP]
I want to take that experience of the risen Christ out of the locked room, out of the closet, and into the world where everyone can see it. I want to walk in the light so that Christ might be revealed in my life.
I know that, by telling the truth about myself, I risk losing my credentials as an ordained United Methodist minister. And that would be a huge loss for me. But I have realized that not telling the whole truth about myself has been holding me back in my faith. I have come to a place where my discipleship, my walk with Christ, requires telling the whole truth, and paying whatever price truthfulness requires. [SNIP]
First of all, I want to tell you about a very important person that most of you haven't had a chance to know. That person is my partner, Chris Paige. Chris and I have lived together in a covenant relationship for two and a half years. More than anyone else in my life, Chris embodies grace and love and discipleship for me. Because of my relationship with her, I am a better, more faithful Christian. I am deeply grateful to her for the daily practice in loving and being loved, and forgiving and being forgiven, that constantly deepen who I am as a person of faith. [SNIP]
I have met with our Bishop. It was not an easy conversation, but it was a loving and respectful conversation. I can't tell you that he completely understands, embraces, or affirms my desire to serve the United Methodist Church as an openly lesbian clergywoman. But I can tell you that he understands and accepts that I am trying to follow Jesus in the best way I know how. We both hope that there will be some way to deal with the conflict my disclosure brings to light that allows for dialogue and growth and makes room for the Holy Spirit to be at work in our midst. I don't know if we will find such an alternative path or not. But no matter what happens, the bishop is not the enemy. He is my brother in Christ. [MORE]
The complete sermon is at:
Walking in Light
PDF format at Walking in Light
The church's home page is at: First United Methodist Church of Germantown