The Barnett/Charlton Collection relates to the Holy Union Service performed at the Sacramento Community Theater on January
16, 1999. The Collection files are divided into five series: the Holy Union, Personal, Photographs, Artifacts, and Oversize.
Within the Collection are correspondence (letters, cards, and printed e-mails), newspaper articles, photographs, audio and
video tapes, lapel pins, buttons, badges, scrapbooks, plaques, ephemera, personal information, promotional material, material
relating to Jeanne Barnett's memorial service, and two purple jackets worn at the Holy Union Service. The Oversize series
contains newspaper and magazine articles relating to the Holy Union service. Some material provided dates; for other material
the date is unknown.
The United Methodist Church amended their Social Principals in 1996 to say that same sex union shall not be conducted by Methodist
clergy. In 1998 the church further ruled that clergy could be held accountable for conducting same sex unions and could be
dismissed from the
ministry. Jeanne Barnett and Ellie Charlton had been together for fifteen years and were both active members of the United
Methodist church; Barnett had been elected lay leader of the regional conference, the highest elected (and clerical) position
in the conference, and Charlton served as a member of the conference board of trustees. Together, they started an after-school
program at their local church. Their Holy Union was performed in Sacramento in January 1999 and was coordinated by Rev. Don
Fado, who asked more than 100 retired or near-to-retirement clergy in the conference if they would stand with him to perform
the service. The service may have been an act of ecclesiastical disobedience for the approximately 68 clergy involved, but
Fado felt he was, in fact, being obedient to his calling in uniting this couple.