The Church of England is closer to moving away from its traditional position of electing only men as bishops after an overwhelming majority voted in favor of female bishops at the General Synod in London on Wednesday.
"These measures look to the day when the Church of England as an ecclesial entity will have made a clear decision to open all orders of ministry to women and men without distinction, whereby all those so ordained are true and lawful holders of the office which they occupy," said the Right Reverend James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester.
"If anyone had told me that one year on from last November we would be where we are, I would have said: 'That's impossible,'" added Christina Rees, a member of the archbishops' council, according to The Guardian. "But by the grace of God it has been possible and here we are. And I believe that what we are considering now is better than what we had last year and I also believe that we are better as a synod." more >>
A Pennyslvania United Methodist clergyman who officiated his son's same-sex wedding has been suspended for 30 days by a church jury on two guilty counts.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer was sentenced Tuesday evening to the suspension after a 13-member jury ruled the day before that he had broken his pastoral vows. The two counts were officiating a ceremony for a homosexual union and being in violation of the rules of the United Methodist Church.
In addition to the suspension, Schaefer must agree to cease officiating same-sex marriages or else be compelled to lose his clergy credentials with the United Methodist Church. more >>
For the last three weeks I have been working day and night on a book entitled Authentic Fire: A Response to John MacArthur's Strange Fire, and by God's amazing grace, it is completed and should be published in print and e-book form within the next three weeks.
But Authentic Fire is not just a rebuttal to what I believe are some of the major errors and misperceptions in the Strange Fire camp. The book is also an invitation to believers on all sides of the current debate to understand each other better, to learn from each other more, and to help each other fulfill the great commission in the fullness of the Spirit.
It's not about winning a debate or proving "the other side" wrong (whichever side that may be from your perspective). It's a matter of humbling ourselves before the Lord and before one another, listening rather than fighting and honoring rather than attacking, even when we have to speak corrective words. Isn't this what Jesus, the Head of the body, deserves? Isn't this what he expects? more >>
A United Methodist clergyman in Pennsylvania who officiated his son's same-sex wedding has been found guilty of violating the denomination's law that bans its reverends from performing such ceremonies.
The Rev. Frank Schaefer was found guilty by a 13-member jury of breaking his pastoral vows when he presided over a gay wedding ceremony in 2007.
"True love draws boundaries. Scripture says that true love does not rejoice in evil," said the Rev. Dr. Christopher Fisher, counsel for the church, in his closing argument. "Cheap grace does not lead to being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ. We ought not turn the grace of God into immorality. Is it true to tell young people that their identity can be determined by something like our sexuality?" more >>
A United Methodist Church bishop has told her fellow church officials that even while debates over the acceptance of homosexuality may divide them, they ultimately "need each other."
Speaking before the UMC Council of Bishops in North Carolina on Monday, Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of the Germany Episcopal Area stressed the importance of leading together.
"Because the church of Jesus Christ is composed of many diverse people, unity is not a static agreement, but a constant move, where we engage with one another in discerning God's will for all," said Wenner. "The world is too complex for one single individual or one single group in the church to respond to the challenges. We need each other to explore a path that leads to vital congregations engaged in mission." more >>
The NINES, an annual online event featuring more than 100 speakers presenting on various topics for an allotted five minutes each, was briefly sidetracked Tuesday when author and popular blogger Rachel Held Evans pressed organizer Todd Rhoades about the lineup including only four women speakers this year.
Rhoades, who apologized to The NINES viewers for the "diversions" on the first day of the two-day online conference, told The Christian Post later that evening that there were a few reasons for the lack of gender diversity among the 112 listed speakers.
"First of all, the theme this year is 'what's working and what's not working' in churches. So... we asked primarily senior and lead pastors to be a part this year. That role in the church is still mostly male in 2013 whether we like it or not," Rhoades wrote via email. more >>