On Sunday, October 18, 2015, during the regular morning “Sunday Gathering” of the Germantown Mennonite Church, Germantown, Pennsylvania, Pastor Amy Yoder McGloughlin and Andrew Buckwalter Fairfield, Seminary Intern — both with the Germantown Mennonite Church, officiated over the marriage of Forrest Moyer and Joseph William Stalnaker, Sr., of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, as part of the church service.

Bronx, New York.  by Rev. Stephen Parelli.  October 20, 2015.

“Traditionally,” Forrest explains, “Amish-Mennonites did their weddings as part of a church service” and, he adds, “Joseph’s Mennonite ancestry is largely Amish.” Forrest is Mennonite.

According to Forrest, an archivist at the Mennonite Heritage Center since January 2006,  “Amish and Hutterites do have their weddings after a worship service (for the Amish, it’s not on Sunday), but Mennonites in eastern Pennsylvania generally didn’t.” He further explains, “Until the mid-20th century when they started having typical weddings like everyone else, Mennonite couples would simply go by themselves or with another couple to the bishop’s home to be married, then maybe have a wedding supper with family.”

Forrest notes, “Here’s more info from the Anabaptist-Mennonite encyclopedia online:http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Marriage#Weddings.”

Forrest and Joseph are regular participants of Connecting Families, a Mennonite and Brethren ministry to families of LGBT people.

s F6 with blanket croopped squareJoseph was introduced to Other Sheep by a mutual friend of Joseph and Steve Parelli and Joseph Ortiz at a time in Joseph’s life, before there was Forrest, when Joseph was wrestling with openly acknowledging and fully embracing his sexual orientation and what consequences that would mean to his marriage, children and church family.

After coming out and having grounded himself in his new life, for a period of time Joseph worked in an official volunteer capacity with Other Sheep as a pro-LGBT missioner to Pennsylvania Dutch religious LGBT individuals who would find his website and who would engage in conversation with Joseph via the Internet. Joseph’s pro-LGBT and faith website message went to Quakers, Mennonites and Brethren worldwide generating conversations with gay Quakers, Mennonites and Brethren from different regions of the world who were seeking answers with someone like themselves.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153178421652113.1073741876.531607112&type=1&l=65bc4537a8Parelli and Ortiz traveled from New York City to Pottstown, Pennsylania, on Saturday, October 17, and stayed with Forrest and Joseph in their home and celebrated on the eve of the wedding, Saturday night, the groom and groom’s special day, with them and another gay couple.

Photos of the marriage are posted at Parelli’s Facebook site. Click here to go to the Facebook Album of the marriage of Forrest and Joseph.

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