Reconciling Ministries Network

Witness for Rev. Frank Schaefer

There has been an outpouring of support for Pastor Frank Schaefer as he faces a trial for having officiated at the marriage of his son Tim. This page will serve as a gathering place for information about how you can get involved. Please check back regularly for updates.

BEFORE THE TRIAL

You are encouraged to organize a vigil at your church. Resources for the prayer vigil can be found here.  The prayer vigils would also be a great time to make your banners and signs.

 Witness Planning/Pizza Party/Meet-n-Greet/Prayer [Updated 11/12/13]

Date: Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Time: 6pm

Location: First UMC, 414 E High St, Pottstown, PA 19464   There are about 27 parking spots behind the church, on both sides.

Details: We’ll coordinate details such as carpooling, make some signs/banners, and meet folks from around the country who will be here to support Frank, Brigitte, and the family. We will sing the songs we will use at the protest so that everyone can learn the words, song sheets will be provided.

 

DURING THE TRIAL

Camp Innabah – Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th November [Updated 11/12/13]

Supporters are encouraged to attend the trial at Camp Innabah, 712 Pughtown Rd, Spring City, PA 19475.

The trial starts at 8:30am on Monday, November 18th, and is due to end on Tuesday, November 19th.

Supporters will start gathering at about 7:45am so that we can pray and bless the space before the trial begins. We will have a constant Presence and various Witness “events” at the beginning, at meal breaks, at the end of the day, and at the end of the Trial.


Accommodations

Only those directly involved in the trial are being allowed to stay at Camp Innabah. There are a number of hotels available. There might be a small amount of local host housing available. If you are interested please email.

Update: There is an opportunity to share a hotel room with another supporter, please email for details.


Parking [Updated 11/12/13]

There is limited parking at Camp Innabah, so we’re planning to carpool. If you’d like information on where to meet folks, but you won’t be able to be at Sunday evening’s meeting, please email Jay Newlin or call/text Helen Ryde (508-247-7818)

Food [Updated 11/12/13]

As far as we know there will be an outside food vendor selling food and drinks. However, it might be a good idea to bring snacks/drinks. There is definitely a Dunkin Donuts about half a mile from Camp Innabah. The staff at Camp Innabah will also be providing a list of local restaurants once we get there.


What to bring [Updated 11/12/13]

  • Chairs – plus extra if you live locally and have room in your car. Those traveling from a distance (by plane) will be glad to borrow a chair!
  • Warm and weather proof clothing – it is likely much time will be spent outside, be sure to dress appropriately. Check the weather reports, it definitely looks like there could be rain on Tuesday.
  • Drinks/snacks – see Food note above.
  • Clothing options/rules – no one will be admitted to the actual trial room who is wearing a shirt or button with a logo or slogan. If you want to wear your slogan t-shirt, sweatshirt, or button, please be prepared to cover or remove it before entering the Trial Room. Bishop Gwinn has said that this does not apply to rainbow stoles, so be sure to bring your stole, and wear it proudly! If you have spare stoles, please bring them with you.
  • Signs/banners – if you have church signs or banners please do bring them along.


Attendance rules from Presiding Bishop

General Public
Persons will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis except as noted below. If there are more persons who want to attend after seating capacity is reached, a priority ticket may be issued to them to attend the next consecutive session before others are admitted.

News Media
There will be four seats reserved for United Methodist-related media and four other seats reserved for other media on a first-come, first-served basis. Media shall present their credentials to the secretary of the trial court to gain entry. If there are more than four United Methodist-related media or more than four other media who want to attend and there are no additional reserved media seats, priority tickets may be issued to them to be able to attend the next consecutive session before other media representatives are admitted.

Recording and Communication Devices
Filming or sound recording is not permitted in the building where the trial is held. Media representatives may take notes quietly for later reporting when the trial is in recess, but they are not permitted to issue any reports or messages when the trial is in session, including, but not limited to, e-mails, Tweets, texts, Instagram messages, Facebook posts, or phone calls. Any media representative who violates any of these instructions is subject to being removed from the trial room.

Miscellaneous
Under no circumstances may anyone speak with any prospective members of the trial court pool or those selected as members of the trial court without the Presiding Officer’s express permission.

All signs, banners, buttons, clothing with word or picture messages, cameras, gestures, and comments are prohibited from persons attending the trial. Shirts, stoles or necklaces that are rainbow colored are not considered to be inappropriate as long as they do not contain any messages in words or pictures other than the United Methodist cross and flame, a cross, or other traditional Christian symbols.