UMC clergy reportedly face complaint, church trial after marrying nonbinary couple

by | Apr 19, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — When Matty and Myles Cafiero were married in January in Tupelo, Mississippi, the celebration of Communion was especially important to Matty. The United Methodist Church practices an open table, inviting everyone to receive the bread and wine.To Matty, 23, it’s a connection with both God and the people around them. It’s one of the things that drew them to Methodism.
The wedding “was everything that we wanted,” said Myles, 24.
Then came the complaint.
The two United Methodist ministers who co-officiated the Cafieros’ wedding, the Rev. Paige Swaim-Presley and the Rev. Elizabeth Davidson, say they were informed in late February a formal complaint has been filed against them, allegedly for officiating a same-sex wedding. They told Religion News Service they have been asked to surrender their clergy credentials or face a church trial in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The threat of a church trial comes as the United Methodist Church is splintering over disagreement about the ordination and marriage of its LGBTQ members.
The United States’ second largest Protestant denomination has lost more than 2,000 churches since moving in 2019 to strengthen penalties for clergy performing same-sex weddings, among other things. The departing churches tend to be theologically conservative, concerned the church is moving toward affirming LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings, regardless.
But Matty and Myles Cafiero identify as nonbinary.
And Swaim-Presley and Davidson say the Book of Discipline is silent on the topic of weddings betwee …

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