A Just Resolution has been reached

September 8, 2016

Prior to his retirement, Bishop Goodpaster, Rev. Dr. Val Rosenquist, and the Counsel for the Church that had been appointed by Bishop Goodpaster reached a Just Resolution in response to formal complaints filed against Rev. Dr. Valerie Rosenquist that date back to a same-sex wedding performed at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte on April 23, 2016. Once the complaints were received, Bishop Goodpaster responded following the process outlined in paragraph 363 of The 2012 Book of Discipline.  According to The Discipline, those proceedings were confidential.  After initial an impasse, Bishop Goodpaster appointed Counsel for the Church to prepare a complaint for referral to the Committee on Investigations and possible church trial. However, subsequently, on August 30, 2016, a Just Resolution was reached.  The Discipline defines a just resolution as “one that focuses on repairing any harm to people and communities, achieving real accountability by making things right in so far as possible and bringing healing to all the parties.” (¶2701.5). Such a resolution is the goal anytime a pastor violates the sacred trust of ordination and membership in an annual conference “in the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation and healing may be realized in the body of Christ.” (¶363.1).  A just resolution may be reached at anytime during the disciplinary process, and due to the procedural posture of this particular matter, the Bishop and appointed Counsel for the Church and not the original complainants had the sole authority on behalf of the Conference to reach a just resolution with Rev. Dr. Rosenquist. As part of the just resolution, the parties have agreed that the terms and conditions shall remain confidential as allowed by the Discipline (¶2701.5). For clarity, for purposes of judicial process, the provisions of the Discipline in effect at the time a matter is referred to Counsel for the Church shall govern the process.  In this particular matter, the provisions of the 2012 Discipline (as interpreted by the Judicial Counsel) governed process.