United Methodist Bishop Joseph Sprague filed a formal complaint in October against the Rev. Gregory Dell of Broadway UMC in Chicago after Dell conducted a Holy Union service for a same-gender couple. This is the first such complaint since the UMC's highest judicial body concluded that a prohibition against "ceremonies that celebrate homosexual union" has the effect of church law. If convicted in a church trial, Dell could have his ordination credentials removed, be suspended, or receive a lesser penalty. The church trial is expected to begin in January 1999.