Pastoral Statement from Bishop Laurie

August 14, 2019

You may have heard through conference communications and/or social media that on August 8, The Committee on Investigation of the Iowa Annual Conference conducted a hearing on a Judicial Complaint that was referred to the Committee on Investigation on May 20, 2019 by Rev. Bob Ward, Counsel for the Church.

As the pastoral leader of the Iowa Annual Conference, I lament the fact that for almost fifty years, The United Methodist Church has spent untold time, energy, and money debating human sexuality. I also lament that so many LGBTQIA clergy have left The United Methodist Church for denominations that are eager for their pastoral and spiritual leadership.     

I will soon be appointing a United Methodist bishop from outside the Iowa Annual Conference as the presiding officer of the judicial process as it moves toward trial. I would also issue a reminder that a just resolution is possible throughout the entire complaint process, and is, in fact, the preferred option.

In addition, I invite your prayers for Rev. Anna Blaedel, for the Iowa Annual Conference, and for all of our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters whose gifts and graces for ministry continue to make a difference in Iowa, in our country, and around the world.  

Bishop Laurie