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Stroud Appeal Set for April 28 in Baltimore

United Methodist Communications
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Contact: Diane Denton
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Stroud Appeal Set for April 28 in Baltimore

The committee on appeals for the Northeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church will hear the appeal of Irene Elizabeth (Beth) Stroud on April 28, 2005. The hearing will take place in the Crane Room at the Sheraton International Hotel at Baltimore-Washington Airport from 9:00 a.m. until noon. The Rev. William "Scott" Campbell has been designated as the presiding officer.

The hearing will be open to the public, but deliberations by the committee on appeals will be closed. The public portion of the hearing is expected to last from 9:00 a.m. until noon. The parties will each have an opportunity to orally present their case, but the committee is not allowed to hear witnesses.

After the hearing, the committee will begin its deliberations, which may last until the next day. A media availability session will be held following the announcement of the committee's decision to provide an opportunity for news media to ask questions.

According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, Paragraph 2715.7, "the appellate body shall determine two questions only: (a) Does the weight of the evidence sustain the charge or charges? (b) Were there such errors of church law as to vitiate the verdict and/or the penalty?"

Here are media guidelines for covering the hearing:

  1. Credentials for news media personnel will be issued onsite on the day of the hearing. Since the hearing will last only a half day, there will not be a press room with facilities for reporters. News media should provide contact information in order to receive follow-up communication about when a decison will be announced.
  2. Photographs, audio and video broadcast and recording of the hearing proceedings and announcement of the decision will be prohibited.
  3. Credentialed sketch artists are allowed to sit in the media area of the meeting room.
  4. Media must tape down and securely cover cables and wires coming from their vehicles and equipment. Cell phones and pagers must be turned off during the proceedings. Violators of this policy may be asked to leave.