CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Two Christian pastors to discuss sexual orientation and the church
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two ordained ministers will speak in Iowa City Monday,
May 4 about their experiences challenging church rules regarding homosexual
The Rev. Steve Sabin, pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran Church ELCA in
Ames, will describe his current fight with the Evangelical Lutheran Church
of America, which seeks to remove him from ministry for violating church
rules mandating celibacy for homosexual ministers. The Rev. Jimmy Creech,
senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Neb., will discuss
the complaint against him for publicly blessing the lesbian union of two
members of his congregation.
Their joint presentation, "Sexual Orientation and the Church: Toward
and Ethic of Inclusiveness," will take place at Old Brick Church,
26 E. Market St. from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Sabin is currently appealing the decision to remove him from the ministry
because he violated a church governing document which states: "Practicing
homosexual persons are precluded from the ordained ministry of this church."
He is awaiting word about whether he will be allowed to remain in his position
during the appeal process. Sabin has been pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran
Church since 1985. Members of that congregation support Sabin's ministry
as well as his relationship with Karl von Uhl, his partner of two and a
half years. Von Uhl will join Sabin in his presentation.
In March Creech successfully defended a complaint filed against him
for performing a "covenanting ceremony celebrating a homosexual union
between two women." A 13-member church jury acquitted him by one vote.
This presentation is sponsored by Lutheran Campus Ministry and the Wesley
Foundation at the University of Iowa. For more information, contact the
Rev. Marsha Acord at (319) 338-1179 or the Rev. Robert Dotzel at (319)