Anonymous UM Clergywoman Stirs Debate

BCBy Walter Fenton-

An anonymous UM clergywoman recently ignited a conversation with a posting on the Methodist Federation for Social Action’s webpage.

“I chose to go on birth control,” she wrote, “because I didn’t want to get pregnant and I wanted to have sex. Because I am a clergy woman … and I’m single, that information could get me brought up on charges, and I could lose my ordination.”

The UM Church has long maintained that while sexual intimacy is a good gift from God, it is to be engaged in after marriage.

The clergywoman went on to write, “because I value my job, I have to remain anonymous in writing this. It strikes me as ridiculous in 2016 that this is necessary, but being a person who is sexually active while single is against the rules. I’m very grateful that the church doesn’t extend its reach into my prescriptions, and that I don’t have to justify my prescriptions to my Bishop. I don’t think it is any of his business.”

In response to her posting, the Rev. Talbot Davis, pastor of Good Shepherd UM Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, wrote, “the perspective in … Anonymous’ post” represents “the church of me and of now. It’s an ecclesiology wrapped up in personal autonomy…. It’s theology by Oprah” (Ministry Matters)

Walter Fenton is a United Methodist clergyperson and an analyst for Good News.



  1. After visiting the MFSA website, not sure I understand why this clergywoman’s disclosure would stir debate among members of this group. Seems rather par for the course for contemporary “progressive christians”.

  2. Jerry Chilson says

    This is just a continuation of the miss informed falling Methodist Church. Falling into the ways of the world where there are no rules or morals. Whatever the individual feels like doing is ok. Whatever media does is ok, reluctance to support any Christian media or thoughts because it may not fit their theologies. As long as it does not appear to harm anyone it is ok. Well it does harm someone it harms families and family values and I am sure it disappoints Jesus. When will the Church take a strong stand on moral guide lines? I am not talking about homosexual debate this is a deeper issue and we must love all Gods people, I am just talking about general values and support of a family structure with loving caring parents. We should show love for all Gods people and remember the words of Jesus that we are forgiven but He also ask that we go and sin no more.

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