pastor frank

Methodist jury convicts pastor Frank Schaefer for officiating his gay son’s wedding

A United Methodist Church jury of fellow pastors sentenced him to a 30-day suspension after convicting him of violating church law for having officiated over his son’s same-sex wedding in 2007. At the end of the 30-day period, the Lebanon, Penn., pastor will be defrocked unless he renounces same-sex marriage, including his own son’s marriage.

I said to the jury, ‘Look, all of this, in the last few weeks, has really outed me to the world in terms of where I stand on my theology. I have become an advocate for the LGBT community. I can no longer be a silent supporter.

I cannot fathom how I would change my mind in that time or in any time. To me this is discrimination. It’s not right. So many people have been hurt. Not just my son – my children – but thousands of gay, lesbian bisexual, transgender people have been hurt by the church and by society. It has to stop. We’ve got to realize what we’re doing here with our theology, our doctrine, and really, our hate speech.

The two counts of which he was found guilty go back to Schaefer having officiated over his gay son’s wedding in 2007 in Massachusetts. Schaefer’s son, Tim Schaefer, had come out to him in 2000, when the pastor spoke to his son after an anonymous caller told him his son was gay and was contemplating suicide.

We said to him, ‘You are made in the image of God just like everyone else,” Schaefer said, thinking back to when his son first described his struggles with his homosexuality. “So when he asked me in 2007, ‘Dad, would you do my wedding?’ I was just honored.”

On December 14th, my wife and I will be married for 48 years. I have loved her more deeply than I have ever loved her in the history of my life and I wish I had done that sooner.
—  Pastor Frank Obien
I just about died when he said that. I applaud your commitment. 

#ProvenancePeek: Winslow Homer at the Met

Every art object has a story—not only of how it was made, but of how it changed hands over time until it found its current home. That story is provenance.

The provenance of this Winslow Homer marine, or seascape, is relatively straightforward as these things go. It was entered into the stock books of M. Knoedler and Co, prominent New York art dealers, in October of 1901. Knoedler & Co purchased the painting, titled Cannon Rock, from Chicago pastor and educator Dr. Frank Gunsaulus on October 24, 1901. Just over two weeks later, on November 9, the firm sold it to art collector and dry goods merchant George Arnold Hearn. Hearn made a gift of his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1906, and that is where Cannon Rock has lived ever since.

This seascape is one of Homer’s later works, notable for its flatness. Homer spent the last 25 years of his life living in coastal Maine, painting land- and seascapes that both respect and challenge nature’s authority. Cannon Rock’s mellow provenance tale belies the powerful scene it presents.

The stock books of the Knoedler Gallery have recently been transformed into a searchable database which anyone can query for free.

Cannon Rock, 1895, Winslow Homer. Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of George A. Hearn, 1906 (above); pages from the Knoedler stock and sales books listing the painting (below).


#ProvenancePeek is a monthly series by research assistant Kelly Davis peeking into #onthisday provenance finds from the M. Knoedler & Co. archives at the Getty Research Institute.