A decision by a United Methodist Church appeals committee that reinstated a pastor defrocked for officiating a same-sex wedding might be appealed.
Rev. Frank Schaefer, a pastor from Pennsylvania who had his clergy credentials recently restored by the Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals, might lose them once more. The Rev. Christopher Fisher, who served as prosecutor on behalf of the UMC, has until Thursday, August 21 to file an appeal of the decision.
The appeal deadline marks 60 days before the annual meeting of the United Methodist Judicial Council, the highest court in the Protestant denomination. more >>
Last week's 310 to 303 vote by the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) General Assembly to "selectively divest" from companies that it claims "further the Israeli occupation in Palestine" reveals an ugly side of a denomination of Christianity that by its own progressive values should be embracing the Jewish state - not condemning it.
But apparently shared values are not important for a religious organization that prides itself on its progressive ideals. On the same day that the church singled out Israel for divestment, it voted to support gay marriage. How ironic, since Israel is the only country in that part of the world that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation – a country which welcomed the U.S. ambassador to fly the gay pride flag under the American flag during last week's Israel Gay Pride festival.
The PCUSA vote effectively condones the brutal treatment of the GLBTQ community at the hands of Palestinians and Israel's Arab neighbors. Remaining silent in the face of such human rights violations, while singling out Israel for measures they take to simply protect Jews, Muslims and Christians in their country, is abhorrent. more >>
A United Methodist Church pastor defrocked for officiating his son's same-sex marriage had his clergy credentials reinstated by a church court on appeal.
Frank Schaefer, a Pennsylvania pastor defrocked last December, was reinstated Tuesday courtesy a decision from the Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals.
In a statement following the decision, Schaefer called the appeals committee's decision "a hopeful sign for our LGBTQ community." more >>
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on Friday June 20th became the most prominent religious group in the United States to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians, voting for a resolution to sell church stock in three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories.
In a statement on its Facebook page, the Israeli Embassy in Washington denounced the resolution as "shameful."
"Voting for symbolic measures marginalizes and removes its ability to be a constructive partner to promote peace in the Middle East," the statement said. more >>
A conservative group within Presbyterian Church (USA) has stated its members "grieve" the General Assembly's vote that allows pastors to perform same-sex marriages.
The Fellowship of Presbyterians sent out a "pastoral letter" Friday in response to the 221st PC (USA) General Assembly voting to allow pastors to perform gay marriage in states where it is legally recognized.
The letter also despaired at the vote to allow the presbyteries to enter consideration for changing the official definition of marriage for the denomination from "a man and a woman" to "two people, traditionally a man and a woman." more >>
A group of conservative members of the United Methodist Church have signed an open letter to the supporters of a petition calling for the denomination to let individual congregations determine their stance on homosexuality.
At issue is the UMC's official position on homosexuality, which while recognizing the inherent worth of homosexual persons nonetheless declares the practice of homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching."
Posted on the website of the denomination's Good News Magazine last week, the open letter was addressed to Adam Hamilton, senior pastor of The Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, and Mike Slaughter, lead pastor of Ginghamsburg UMC of Tipp City, Ohio. more >>