January 13, 2014
By Steve Chawkins
When retired Methodist bishop Jack Tuell was asked how he changed his mind on issues of gay ordination and gay marriage, he explained it simply: “I changed my mind when I changed my heart.”
But the answer was more complicated.....
In 1999, he presided over the trial of Gregory Dell, a Chicago minister accused of disobeying church law by performing a commitment service for two gay parishioners. Dell was suspended from the ministry for a year.
For months, Tuell reflected on the conviction. Dell, a minister he described as “dedicated, energetic, compassionate, caring and able,” had been ousted. Anguished friends had been telling him their gay and lesbian children didn't feel at home in the churches where they were raised.
“Ecclesiastically speaking, the decision was correct,” he later wrote. “As I understand the Spirit of God, it was wrong.”