A Hoosier Response to the complaint filed against Rev. Anna Blaedel
On August 7, 2019, the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church publicly released details of a complaint filed in 2018 against the Rev. Anna Blaedel, ordained clergyperson in the Iowa Conference. The complaint was filed with the Iowa Conference Bishop’s Office by a lay member of a United Methodist congregation in the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. You can read the press release here: http://bit.ly/2yQ7CwY. Update as of August 13, 2019: The Committee on Investigation voted to refer the charges against Rev. Blaedel to trial. This open letter is the response of United Methodists in Indiana who stand against the complainant's actions and in solidarity with Rev. Blaedel.
The Open Letter
Dear Siblings in Christ in the Iowa Conference,

This letter comes to you from United Methodists of the Indiana Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. We are writing to express our profound sadness at the news of the complaint filed against Rev. Anna Blaedel by a member of our conference for violation of the Book of Discipline’s unjust prohibition against clergy who are “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals.”

To Rev. Blaedel, we are deeply sorry for the harm that has been and continues to be done against you and your ministry within our United Methodist Church. You have responded to God’s call on your life and served faithfully for many years, but this complaint questions the validity of that service and call. We are also mindful of the reality that this complaint was filed by a member of our Indiana Conference, and we are sorry for our complicity -- for the ways we as an Indiana Conference have fostered an environment that allows for this kind of hateful rhetoric and action. We must do better, and we are committed to working within our conference to become a more just and faithful Church.

To the Church as a whole: We are aggrieved not only because of the harm this complaint perpetuates against LGBTQ+ persons but also because of the unbiblical nature of this particular complaint process. We point to Jesus’ mandate in Matthew 18:15-17 to seek the resolution of conflict first by engaging directly with the person with whom you are in conflict and then, if necessary, bring others into the resolution process. As the complainant has never met Rev. Blaedel and is not a member of the Iowa Conference, we can only assume that the complaint was not filed with any intent toward biblical resolution. Our desire for the Indiana United Methodist Conference, as well as the global Methodist communion, is that we would be a Church that lives into Jesus’ vision of life-giving community and relationship, not a Church that leverages the complaint process for political and punitive gain.

We unequivocally denounce the actions of this complainant and his employer, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD). We reject the violent tactics of the IRD made possible by the unjust policies of our Discipline, particularly in this moment of our United Methodist Church. We recognize the choices that are before us all as we seek to be a more faithful Church. We advocate for actions that further our commitment to live into the beloved community that Christ calls us to be, so that we might become a Church that honors God’s call on all person’s lives.

As Hoosier United Methodists, we stand against the tyranny of this action and stand in solidarity with our sibling in Christ, the Rev. Anna Blaedel.

Yours in Christ,
United Methodists of the Indiana Conference
Signatures (scroll to the bottom to add your name)
Rev. Duane Carlisle, Broadway UMC
Rev. Mary Dicken, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Dr. Cyndi Alte, Broadway UMC
Ms. Alisa Isaacs-Bailey, Gobin Memorial UMC
Rev. Mark Dicken
Rev. Bryan Langdoc, Gobin Memorial UMC
Rev. Corinne Boruff, Anderson First UMC
Anne Moman Brock, North UMC
Rev. Lisa Schubert Nowling, Bloomington First UMC
Christine Mahon, College Avenue UMC, Muncie
Dr. Patricia Bennett, College Avenue UMC
Mary Jane Packard, First UMC Bloomington
Rev. Jimmy Moore, St. Mark’s UMC
Rev. Teri Crouse, JD, Bloomington First UMC
Barbara Dicken
James Ault, Anderson First UMC
Marilyn Ault
Rev. Dr. Todd Gile
Rev. Ronnie Bell, Cumberland UMC
Rev. Dr. Nelson Steele, retired clergy
Rev. Julie Pimlott
Rev. Dr. John McFarland
Fred Schick, First UMC, Bloomington
Amy Sell, North UMC
Pastor Mandie Gould Willoughby
Rev. Joseph Sanford, Sellersburg UMC
Leann Beaven, Newburgh UMC
Rev. Howard Boles, Columbus First UMC
Rev. Holly Hardsaw, First UMC, New Castle
Patricia Marvin, St. Mark’s UMC, Bloomington
Meg Jones
Rev. Steven Conger, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Dr. Jim Farrer, First UMC
Ms. Delma Mindel, Zionsville UMC
Ms. Linda Forsher, First UMC
Hope Tribble, Broadway UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. Dr. Marti Lundy
Rev. Ann Lantz
Rev. Karen Rhoades Welling
Ms. Carol McGarry, First UMC, Bloomington
Melissa Fisher
Rev. Dr. Tamara Gieselman
Mr. David Howenstine
Rev. Gordon Burton
Rev. Chris Nunley, North Central District
Martha Crossen
Rev. Jill Howard
Nancy Stortz, Broadway UMC
Rev. Dr. Rachel Metheny, Congress Street UMC
Rev. Nikki Brown Rice, Auburn First UMC
Arlene Samuelson, Auburn First UMC
Rev. Michael Mather, Broadway UMC
Mr. Hobart Tinley, Grace UMC
Rev. Erin Michelle Weaver
Rev. JillAnn Knonenborg
Mr. Albert Hidalgo, Broadway UMC
Mr. Richard Pickard, Broadway UMC
Rev. Janice Dimick
Mr. Wayne Peterson-Stephan, Evangelical UMC
Dr. Adam Drummond, Evangelical UMC
Jordan Peterson Stephan, Evangelical UMC
Lisa Hamilton
Pastor Jason Torres, Chesterton UMC
Ms. Amanda Stephenson, Evangelical UMC
Rev. Crystal Jacobson, Tanner Valley UMC
Mr. Matthew Stephenson, Evangelical UMC
Dr. Adolf Hansen, St. Luke’s UMC, Indianapolis
Pastor Ryan Sibray
Rev. Dr. Kent Lundy
Rev. Brittney Stephan, Evangelical UMC
John Randall
Ms. Danielle Hanson
Mr. Joshua Beach, North UMC
Rev. Mary Beth Morgan, St. Mark's, Bloomington
Ms. Amy VanHorn, Auburn UMC
Rev. Dr. Brad Miller
Rev. Kevin Armstrong
Rev. Jean Ness
Rev. Steven Ailes
Christen Rees, Broadway UMC
Lori Lego, Broadway UMC
Arlen Packard, Bloomington FUMC
Rev. Matt Landry, First UMC South Bend
Ms. Janelle Ohlemiller
Rev. Christopher Tiedeman
Mr. Shane Lanning
Tiffanney Drummond
Rev. Jason Morris
Rev. Sandy Harlan
Mary Sue McAlister, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Sandy Harlan
Rev. Dr. Richard Moman
Debbra Lysek, Castleton UMC
Ms. Krista Hensley, Broadway UMC, Indianapolis
Leslie Parker
Nicole King
Paul Ricketts, Faith UMC
Randy Brady
Rev. Dr. Cyndi Alte, Broadway UMC
Kevin Mybeck, Ridge UMC
Rev. Benjamin Cassiday
Ms. Susan Parrish, St. Mark’s UMC
Rev. Jennifer Huff
Reverend Grant Merrell, Coalbush UMC
Ms. Liz Snyder, Broadway UMC
Rev. Gregory Waggoner
Dr. Felicia Stewart
Mr. Mark Cox, St. Mark's UMC
Sharon Zonker
Ms. Sarah Hellmich, Greensburg UMC
Rev. Mary Ann Moman, St. Mark's UMC
Fran Quigley, Broadway UMC
Rev. Chris Lantz
Mary Beth Hannah-Hansen, St. Mark’s UMC
Jan Hufferd
Diane Comandella
Mr. Jesse Longsworth
Ms. Susan Geyer, First UMC & St Marks UMC
Rev. Tim Powers
Michael Cartwright
Robert Stamper, Faith UMC
Chris Taylor Anderson, First UMC
Kim Henke, Trinity UMC, Elkhart
Nichole Call, College Avenue United Methodist
Lynn Huett First, First UMC Auburn
Ms. Carla Hedges, St. Mark’s UMC
Rev. Larry Dimick, Retired
Katie Swisher
Ms. Dessie (Despina) Koch, Meridian Street UMC
Mr. Rick Belbutoski, Hennepin Ave UMC
Ms. Staci Miller, Anderson FUMC
Ms. Kate Singer
Ms. Nancy Zent, Broadway UMC
Ms. Tracy Heaton de Martinez, Broadway UMC
Ms. Joann Calabrese, First UMC
Jennifer Riddle
Rev. Nancy Nichols
Sara Wuellner, Calvary UMC
Rev. Susan Hobson
Rev. Robert Ostermeier
Ms. Cyrena Gilman
Ms. Carmen Daugherty
Ms. Julie Head, FUMC and St. Mark's
Gisele Dollinger, Broadway UMC
Ms. Rebecca Peters, Meridian Street UMC
Martha Schick, First UMC, Bloomington
Ms. Debra Davis, St Mark's UMC, Bloomington
Rev. Dr. L Stephen Cain, RFE at Faith UMC, Living Waters Peace Center
Rev. Leonard Sjogren
Ms. Frances Leath
Rev. Donna Goings, First UMC Bloomington
Charles Daube, Broadway UMC
Rev. Barb Marshall
Rick Ward, Broadway UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. Barbara Lloyd
Rev. Dr. Maureen Knudsen Langdoc, DePauw University
Rev. Michael Lawson, First UMC of Portage
Ms. Amber Welch, Portage First UMC
Dr. Rebecca Davis
Mr. Wolff Roos
Psula Merriman
Dr. Amy Metheny, Broadway UMC
Carol Berg
Dr. Michelle Greene
Nina Taylor, St Mark’s UMC
Rev. Dr. Jackie Chandler
Gail Strong, Meridian Street UMC
Chris Schellenberg
Rev. Ed Fisher
Mr. Jay Cobb, Broadway UMC
David Byrum, Retired Elder
Mary Eyster
Hazel Jane Crosier
Rev. Tara Keehn, Portage First UMC
Hope Tribble, Broadway UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. Jill Wright
Mr. Larry Coplen, Broadway UMC
Connie Hegart, First UMC, Bloomington
Ms. Sarah Frost, Garden at Gethsemane UMC
Mr. David Miller, Ridge UMC
Mr. Douglas Alte, Broadway UMC
Melissa Davis, First UMC Bloomington
Anne Holtsclaw Meyer, Frankfort St. Matthew's
Pastor Kayla Grehl
Sharry Lee Gregory, Meridian Street UMC
Mr. John Paarlberg
Rev. Dr. Philip Amerson, President Emeritus, Garrett-Evangelical Seminary
Rev. Shannon Stringer
Barbara Taylor, Broadway UMC
Janet Ashley, Evangelical UMC
Mr. Thomas Ashley, EUMC
Vicki Bailey
Sarah Lasbury, St Mark's UMC, Carmel
Dr. Elaine Amerson
Pastor Diane Gattone, North UMC
Annie Wills
Ms. Lynda Richards Laatsch, Evangelical UMC Huntington
Crystal Lorch, College Avenue UMC
Kathy Jenkins, Meridian Street UMC
Ms. Cynthia Regnier, Ridge UMC
Cheryl Bainbridge, St. Marks UMC
Marilyn Hartman, First UMC, Bloomington
Ms. Helen McFarland, St. Mark's UMC, Bloomington
Rev. Mike Beck
Kayla Goodfellow, Broadway UMC
Mr. Paul George, NUMC
Laurie Paarlberg, Broadway UMC
Laura Baich, St. Mark’s UMC
Mr. Rick Sutton, St Luke's UMC, Indianapolis
Ms. Elizabeth D'Alton, Meridian Street UMC
Janis Brady, St Mark's UMC
Debra Russum, 1st United Methodist of Portage
Andrew Mortonson, St Marks UMC, Carmel
Ms. Christina Cawthra, Portage FUMC
Laura Baich, St. Mark’s UMC
Jean Rumpel, Meridian Street UMC
Katrina Mescher, St. Mark’s UMC, Bloomington
Linda Mills, Portage 1st UMC
Rob Fuquay, St Lukes UMC, Indianapolis
Mr. Dana Good, Broadway UMC
Ms. Rebecca Seifert
Carolyn Kingen, Meridian Street UMC
Joshua Yankey
Ms. Kathy O’Brien
Lorri Davenport
Ms. Jennifer Hill, RUMC
Patty Fisher, OUMC
Cheryl Lowery, Ridge UMC
Pastor Phyllis Peters
Lorrayne Schmock
Miriam Jones, First UMC, Anderson, IN
Lindsey Fisher
Rev. Mary Cartwright, Nashville UMC
Ms. Nancy Hunt, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Stormy Scherer-Berry
Ms. Martha Harsanyi, First UMC, Bloomington
Danny Percak, Ridge UMC
Rev. Dr. Daniel Gangler, Calvary UMC, Brownsburg
Becky Bechtel, Meridian Street UMC
Mr. Troy Barker, North UMC, Indianapolis
Dr. Philip Coons, North UMC
Dr. Janet Harmening, Centenary UMC
Mr. Louis Harmening, Centenary UMC
Rev. Greg Rittenhouse, Retired Clergy
Rev. Tracey Leslie, Trinity UMC Lafayette
Rev. Janice Dimick
Ms. Christine Hitchcock, St. Mark's UMC
Mr. Dean Eppley, Wabash Christ UMC
Robert Greising, Meridian Street UMC
Ms. Linda McClain, North United Methodist
Mr. Stewart Dixon Dixon, Rosedale Hills UMC
Ms. Suzie Rimstidt, St. Mark's UMC
Rev. Joseph Easley, Retired Elder
Rev. Darren Cushman Wood, North UMC
Mr. Joey Hatcher, Epworth UMC Indianapolis
Frances Klinger
Lisa Kurz
Mr. Timber Tucker
Rev. Jerry Rairdon
Mr. Charles Jones, 1st UMC Anderson
Dr. Nicole Sheetz, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Jill Kaetzel
Ms. Linda Withrow, Carmel UMC
Ike Williams, St. Mark's UMC, Carmel
Laura McCloughan, St. Mark’s UMC, Carmel
Mr. Paul M. Robinson, St Marks UMC, Bloomington
Ms. Deborah Piper, Celebration UMC
Ms. Sherry Jivelekas
Ms. Brenda Westfall
Janice Holley, Broadway UMC, Indianapolis
Amber Good, Noblesville First UMC
Rev. Dr. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes
Rev. Beth Newton Watson
Deborah Walker, Roberts Park UMC
Rev. Brent Wright, Community Health Network
Ms. Katie Gilbert, Castleton UMC
Ms. Janet Mitchell, Noblesville First UMC
Mr. Joseph Mitchell, Noblesville First UMC
Rev. Cindy Uhrich, Lydick UMC
Rev. Dr. Carolyn Scanlan-Holmes, The Garden
Alayna Gray, St. Mark's, Bloomington
Rev. David Heim
Rev. Andrew Charnstrom, Union Chapel UMC
Ms. Joann Calabrese, First UMC, Bloomington
Andrea Clough, Broadway UMC
Kim Reeves, St. Lukes UMC
Ms. Christina Guthrie, Old Bethel UMC
Dawn Walters, St. Marks, Bloomington
Sarah Taylor, Anderson First UMC
Beth Lively, Noblesville First UMC
Brenda Bailey-Hughes, St Marks UMC
Ms. Stephanie Zircher
Ron Carter, St. Luke’s UMC
Mr. Bryan Walters, St. Marks UMC, Bloomington
Barbara Carter, St. Luke’s UMC
Jennifer VanSickle
Cathy McFarland
Jennifer Dobbs-Oates, Grace UMC, Lafayette
Rev. Sarah Knapp, Safeco (Liberty Mutual)
Rev. Ronald Branson
Rebekka Almond, St. Mark's UMC, Bloomington
Mr. Leonard Vanzant, St Mark's UMC
Ms. Betony O'Connor, Old Bethel UMC
Donald Smith, Noblesville First UMC
Ms. Kim Arnott
Ken Puent
Marsha Huberty, St. Mark's UMC
Ms. Kathy Tomes, Noblesville First UMC
Ms. Beth Rosales, St. Mark's UMC
Eric Ellsworth, Meridian Street UMC
Mr. Tom Shriver-McGrevy, Noblesville First UMC
Rev. Steven Walker
Ms. Natalie Oehler
Rev. Allison Yankey
Janice Wheater-Cowen, North UMC, Indianapolis
Ms. Glenda Murray St. Mark's UMC, Bloomington
Heather Hilbert, Zionsville UMC
Joe Hilbert, Zionsville UMC
Ms. Brenda Warne Calvary UMC
Carla Robinson, Noblesville First UMC
Mr. William Evers Noblesville First UMC
Lana Robyne, First UMC, West Lafayette & Wesley Foundation at Purdue
Jeanne Gerbsch, Noblesville First UMC
Rev. Denise Frank, FUMC West Lafayette
Amy Adams, St. Mark’s UMC, Carmel
Tom Shafer, St Mark's UMC, Bloomington
Angela Richie, Anderson First UMC
Rev. Cynthia Wood, Broadway UMC
Beckie Adams, College Avenue UMC, Muncie
Barbara Schauland, St. Luke's UMC
Matthew Stout, Anderson First UMC
Mr. Robert Givan, First UMC, West Lafayette
Mr. Richard Frank, First UMC, West Lafayette
Rev. Jake Ohlemiller, Albany UMC
Rev. Jamalyn Peigh Williamson
Linda Stephenson, Bloomington First UMC
Kathryn Lenz, First UMC, West Lafayette
Nicci George, North UMC
Elaine Dillahunt, Broadway UMC
Mr. William Todd, Nashville UMC
Ms. Diane Metheny
Anna Hastings, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Jessi Langlie, Brownstown UMC
Rev. Dr. William Schwein, Retired Clergy
Ms. Kitty O’Donnell, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Linda Dolby
Barbara Graves
Dr. Donald Nicholas, College Avenue UMC
Mr. Andy Grigley
Annalee Williams, St. Mark's UMC, Carmel
Elisabeth Pyle, College Avenue UMC, Muncie
Elizabeth Davenport, Noblesville First UMC
Rev. Ann Glass
Nancy Rairdon, Noblesville First UMC
Rachel Fender, St. Mark's UMC, Bloomington
Matthew Fellure, North UMC, Indianapolis
Peter Howe
Jim MacDonald
Heidi Bagnall, First UMC, West Lafayette
Barbara Ellsworth, Meridian Street UMC
Rev. Rune Nielsen, Hong Kong Lutheran
Sarah Dutkevitch, North UMC
Valerie Doud
Mr. Orson Mason, North UMC
Alan Archibald
Ms. Lisa Graff, Portage First UMC
Rev. David Neuen, University Heights UMC
Ms. Julia Graff, Portage First UMC
Jessica Creech, Portage First UMC
Rebecca Bender
Gaye Rardon, Meridian Street UMC
Todd Daniels-Howell, North UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. L. Cameron Manifold
Ms. Kathy Oehler, North UMC, Indianapolis
Mr. Eric Oehler, North UMC, Indianapolis
Joseph Norman
Juliana Berry, North UMC
Deborah Christie, Meridian Street UMC
Ms. Susan Alley
Kate King, St. Mark's UMC
Barbara D. Schmenner
Donald Broad, St. Mark's UMC, Carmel
Roger Schmenner
Mr. Nathan Lundy, Evangelical UMC and Churubusco UMC
Susan Childers, North UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. Mark Fenstermacher
Nancy Wever, North UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. Beverly Perry, INUMC
Mx. Mack Owings
Ann Baker
Laurel Goetzinger, North UMC, Indianapolis
Ms. Beverly Szalaiy, Noblesville First UMC
Ms. Laura Sogard, Meridian Street UMC
Linda Schenk, St. Mark’s UMC, Carmel
Lore Blinn Gibson
James Fore, Broadway UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Chandler, Castleton UMC
Ms. Dawn Johnsen, First UMC, Bloomington
Mr. John Hamilton, First UMC, Bloomington
Anita Rush-Taylor, Noblesville First UMC
Rev. Nancy Harmon Chizmar, Retired
Rev. Candyce Kaiser
Janis Mays
Rev. Dale Rumble
Julie Marsh, North UMC, Indianapolis
Philip Whistler, North UMC
Mr. Marcus Jennings, Taylor Chapel UMC
Rev. Stephen Bibb, First UMC, West Lafayette
Felicia Thomas, First UMC, Michigan City
Steve Shoemaker
Rev. Mary Hubbard
Rev. Jennifer Evans, Calvary UMC, Brownsburg
Lois Calkins, North UMC
Rev. Dennis Adams
Rev. Keith Turner
Mr. Harold Blake, Calvary UMC, Brownsburg
Rev. Glenn Calkins, North UMC
Lynn Nelson, Congress Street UMC
Dr. Marilyn Bull, Meridian Street UMC
Kara Abbey Bilbrey
Linda Coad, Scipio UMC
Ms. Diane Newton St. Mark's UMC, Carmel
Rev. Ashlea Barnett
Rev. Steven Bahrt, North Manchester UMC
Lisa Peterson, Calvary UMC
Rev. Scott Wood
Ms. Shannon Priddy, North UMC, Indianapolis
Ms. Anita Morrison
Mr. Adam Menchinger
Ms. Rita Gaither-Gant, Miracles and Blessings UMC
Ms. Leslie Weaver, Calvary UMC
Ms. Angela Hodges, Calvary UMC
Cathy Hinkle, Epworth UMC, Indianapolis
Ms. Lisa Warren Meunier, St. Mark’s UMC, Bloomington
Rev. Dr. John Young, Retired Clergy
Rev. David Michel
Ann Chernish, Broadway UMC, Indianapolis
Carolyn Collins, St. Mark's UMC, Bloomington
Rev. Dr. Robert D. Newton
Ann Kelly Newton, Gobin Memorial UMC
Marcia Flora, St Mark's UMC
Rev. Angela Gafford Asmus
Ms. Amy McCorkle, Good Shepherd UMC
Mr. John Morrison, Calvary UMC, Brownsburg
Rev. Dr. Jacob C. Williams
Rev. Jenifer Stuelpe Gibbs, Castleton UMC
Cindy Dinwiddie, Castleton UMC, Indianapolis
Lydia Shaw, North UMC, Indianapolis
Rev. James Clark
Ms. Allie Buchanan, Castleton UMC
Jennifer Ballinger, Evangelical UMC
Rev. Elizabeth Gilbert, Plainfield UMC
Michael Gilbert, Plainfield UMC
Tiffany Duke, Newburgh UMC
Mark Swing, Evangelical UMC
Ms. Delene Swing, Evangelical UMC
Mr. Nathan Hochstetler, Anderson First UMC
Midge Greising, Meridian Street UMC
James Kubal, Nashville UMC
Bethany Scott, Meridian Street UMC
Ms. Jennifer Bowman, Evangelical UMC
Rev. Toni Carmer, First United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Scott Carmer, Retired Elder
Signing Section
United Methodists in Indiana are invited and encouraged to sign on to this open letter. The letter is public, including the names of all who have signed.
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