SACRAMENTO – For years, the Rev. David Thompson has angered some members of the Presbyterian community with his views.
The pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church has said gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve as clergy and marry. He has spoken repeatedly against Proposition 8, global warming and attempts by conservative congregations to break away from the denomination.
Now, Thompson and his supporters believe his outspokenness may cost him his job.
Two weeks ago, the Presbytery of Sacramento, the local governing body of the denomination, assumed control of the historic downtown church across from the state Capitol. The presbytery installed an administrative commission, a committee made up of pastors and lay people, to oversee several aspects of the church including worship, finance and personnel.
Thompson said he has done nothing to merit such an action, which he called unusual.
"I've done nothing illegal, nothing unconstitutional or immoral or anything worthy of severing pastoral ties," Thompson said. "From time to time, you make mistakes, everyone does, but this was a drastic action."
He admits his leadership style has not always been considered respectful. "I can get passionate about something, and I think I need to work more on courtesy," Thompson said.
The commission has the power to fire Thompson or place the pastor on administrative leave, and some members of the congregation are afraid that's its purpose.
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