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Extraordinary Methodists: On October 19, Annie Britton (pictured left) and Jenna Zirbel (pictured right), two women denied ordination by the United Methodist Church, were ordained extra ordinem at Mount Vernon Place Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Mount Vernon Place Church is widely recognized as the birthplace of American Methodism. The ordinations were organized under the auspices of the Church Within a Church Movement.
The Rev. Annie Britton was denied ordination because she is a married lesbian and the UMC refuses to ordain "self-avowed practicing homosexuals".
The Rev. Jenna Zirbel is a married heterosexual woman who was unanimously recommended for ordination only to be denied by the Iowa Annual Conference because of her support for gay rights.
Among the ecumenical participants in the ordination were Rev. Patricia Barth, United Church of Christ, Rev. Erik Christensen pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square and co-chair of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM), Mary E. Hunt, a Roman Catholic feminist theologian active in the women-church movement,and The Rev. Dr. Herbert D. Valentine, Moderator of the 203rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)