Paragraph 304.3 in the Book of Discipline, which prohibits self-avowed practicing homosexuals from being “certified as candidates, ordained as ministers or appointed to serve in the Methodist Church,” prevents a board of ordained ministry “from ignoring statements of self-disclosure,” the decision said.
In that case, the court ruled that the consecration of a gay bishop violates church law, but said the bishop “remains in good standing” until an administrative or judicial process is completed.
About 200 people attended an April 25 oral hearing on the matter.
In total, the nine-member Judicial Council deliberated on seven docket items during its April 25-28 spring session, including a petition challenging last year’s election of a lesbian bishop, Bishop Karen Oliveto, that drew attention from church members worldwide.
That is the ruling of the Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, in petitions related to the New York and Northern Illinois conferences, where those boards had publicly declared they would not consider issues of sexuality when evaluating a candidate.
who has been accredited by a Methodist church to lead worship and preach on a regular basis.
These preachers have played an important role in Methodism since the earliest days of the movement, and have also been important in English social history.
"Local preachers" have been a part of Methodism from its beginnings as a revival movement in 18th century England.
John Wesley tried to avoid a schism with the Church of England, and encouraged those who attended his revivalist meetings to attend their parish churches but they also attended Methodist preaching services, which were held elsewhere, and met in "classes" (small cell groups).
Because of the limited number of ordained ministers he could call on, Wesley appointed local preachers who were not ordained but whom he examined, and whom he felt he could trust to lead worship and preach: though not to minister sacraments.
As the independent Methodist church developed following the schism and Wesley's death, a pattern was soon established in which ordained ministers, whose number was still limited, were attached for a short period (at first three years, subsequently five, and now more usually seven or more) to a Circuit.
The New York decision is the continuation of a petition on a bishop’s decision of law that was on the council’s October 2016 docket.