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Foundry’s Senior Pastor Dean Snyder and Associate Pastor Dawn Hand led church leaders and advocates in welcoming Mr. Schaefer and his family to the church as members. Mr. Schaefer is scheduled to speak at the church in late January.

After the service, Mr. Schaefer answered questions and accepted well wishes, while others asked for advice on how to keep the faith while struggling with church teaching.

Will McLeod, who just moved to the District with his wife, said his family had been a part of the United Methodist Church for a century, but recently he had begun considering a move to the Episcopal Church.

Mr. Schaefer “convinced me to stay,” the 29-year-old said. “He showed we should not leave the church behind to be taken over by people who don’t want to preach love. I feel like what we are called to do is stay in the church, put our feet on the Rock, and say we will not be moved.”