Jun 7, 2024 - News

Iowa LGBTQ+ pastor to be ordained after Methodist vote

Illustration of a stained glass church window showing rainbow colors and a speech bubble.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Rev. Jordan Derhammer Capek of West Des Moines United Methodist Church will be ordained as a full elder on Sunday.

Why it matters: She's openly gay, and her ordination comes a month after the church repealed its longstanding ban on LGBTQ clergy.

Catch up fast: The United Methodist Church's world delegates overwhelmingly voted to end the ban during a May 1 General Conference, contrasting with past votes that reinforced prohibitions against "self-avowed practicing homosexuals," the AP reports.

  • The change doesn't mandate or explicitly affirm LGBTQ clergy, but it means the church no longer forbids them.
  • Delegates also approved a measure forbidding the church's regional administrators from penalizing clergy for performing same-sex weddings.

Zoom in: Around 11% of Iowa's Methodist churches — 80 of 750 — disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church last year, mostly because of disagreements over theology and social issues.

  • Those that left faced financial consequences including debts and other obligations to the larger organization, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports.

What's next: Derhammer Capek, who did not reply to Axios' request for comment by deadline, is one of five people being ordained during a ceremony on Sunday at 9am during the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

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