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Mainline Pastor Defrocked for Not Serving Gluten-Free Communion

Mainline Pastor Defrocked for Not Serving Gluten-Free Communion

Low-gluten prayer breads fill a container at the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration monastery in Clyde Missouri December 18, 2014. The Sisters have made communion wafers since 1910 and began making a low-gluten version in 2003 and have gone from 143 customers in 2004 to more than 11,000 customers from around the world. | (Photo: Reuters/Dave Kaup)

A Mainline Protestant pastor has been found guilty of not serving gluten-free bread during communion and has been defrocked for her indiscretion.

Frankie Shaver, senior pastor at Cheap Grace United Methodist Church, is now the former senior pastor of Cheap Grace United Methodist Church.

Shaver was found guilty on Wednesday by a tribunal headed by members of the Kansas-Alabama Board of Ordained Ministry.

Allie Nobel, member of KA BOOM, explained that Shaver's actions, or rather inaction, violated the basic — though definitely NOT fundamental — principles of the UMC.

"We pride ourselves on having Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors," explained Nobel. "What the former pastor of CG UMC did was inexcusable and worse yet, might have alienated the people we are desperately trying our best to cave in to."

Thanks to a resolution passed at some unknown General Conference, American UMC clergy must provide gluten free communion bread as part of every communion Sunday.

Those who serve the bread are expected to stand around awkwardly as other stations with normal bread experience long lines, with the occasional person coming to them out of pity.

KA BOOM's explosive news has sent a shockwave among UMC clergy, who before this assumed that the punishment for being caught without gluten free bread was, at worst, being forced to write a 5,000-word Adam Hamilton book review.

"I didn't know they were going to take this so darn seriously," commented one UMCer, who requested anonymity and gender inclusive language when speaking to the press.

The, um, clergyperson then went on to explained that at his – derp! – their church, they only pretend to serve gluten free bread by having a person holding what appears to be morsels of gluten-less communion.

"In reality it's just Paper Mache but it looks convincing from the distant observation of a church door," explained the clergyman, ah! I mean person. That is, clergyperson. Wow, this is harder than I thought.

"I mean, it's not like anyone who really thinks that gluten free communion bread is a deal breaker for attending church shows up to church anyway, am I right?"

Other clergy have taken a more legalistic approach, like noting to recipients that the gluten within the bread comes to them without financial expense.

"It is important to note," explained one District Superintendent, "that United Methodists are not of one mind as to what exactly constitutes 'gluten free' bread."

For her part, Shaver has told assorted media outlets that she plans to appeal the decision and hopes to get her clergy credentials back.

"It was not intentional. We just ran out one day and it was too late to find more," she said adamantly as she hoped to lower the BOOM's damage to her ecclesiastical career. "Do you realize how hard it is to find that stuff on the shelves?"


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