A Just Resolution was reached in the complaint pending against Rev. Dr. Rhonda VanDyke and an agreement was signed by all parties on June 14, 2023. In an effort to promote ongoing dialogue and broader reconciliation and healing within the body of Christ, the parties agree to the public sharing of this resolution:
On February 11, 2021 a complaint was filed against Rev. Dr. Rhonda VanDyke for officiating at the wedding of a same sex couple on September 12, 2020. On June 8, 2023 the matter was referred to counsel for the church, Rev. Clark Cundiff. On June 13, 2023 the complainant withdrew their complaint. On June 14, 2023 a just resolution was reached and is the final disposition of the charge.
A just resolution “focuses on repairing harm to people and communities, achieving real accountability by making things right in so far as possible and bringing healing to all the parties.” (The United Methodist Book of Discipline (2016) (“BOD”) ¶362.1) Its focus is restorative rather than punitive and retributive. “It is entered into with the hope that God’s work of justice, reconciliation, and healing may be realized in the body of Christ.” (BOD ¶362.1) A process seeking just resolution may begin at any time in the supervisory, complaint, or trial process. (BOD ¶362.1c).
This just resolution acknowledges the many harms flowing from this process, including the following:
- A delay in the furtherance of the process not contemplated by the BOD;
- The harm experienced when a sacred pastoral duty for beloved parishioners conflicts with provisions of current church law.
- The harm experienced when there is a violation of the BOD, a breach of the clergy covenant, and a failure to uphold current church law;
- The harm experienced by the couple whose joyous wedding became cast as a chargeable offense with wedding photos used as evidence of the offense.
This statement constitutes a just resolution, agreed to by counsel for the church and the respondent, and is the final disposition of the related complaint. While the charge is resolved, the need for reconciliation and healing within the body of Christ are ongoing.
Resolved this 14 day of June, 2023.
Rev. Clark Cundiff, counsel for the church
Rev. Dr. Rhonda VanDyke, respondent
Rev. Donna Holder, counsel for respondent