A regional body within the United Methodist Church rejected the commissioning of a married lesbian as a deacon, a move that would have likely defied denominational rules.
The Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference's Board of Ordained Ministry took a vote Wednesday and did not approve Tara "T.C." Morrow as a deacon.
"Morrow failed to receive the two-thirds of the vote needed to be approved," reported the UMConnection, noting that the BOOM stated it "did not consider sexual practice for any candidate and did not in the case of Morrow." more >>
Restoration work on the "Tomb of Jesus" at Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre Church began on Sunday, as the major holy site was on the verge of collapse, according to reports.
The year-long restoration project is bringing together members of the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Orthodox churches who are all helping in the $3.4 million project that is set to peel away layers from the tomb's outer surface, cleaning and repairing them one by one.
AFP reported that the holy site was "on the verge of collapse" as workers erected scaffolding and a steel canopy over the entrance to the tomb, officially starting work on the year-long restoration project. more >>
Regional bodies of the United Methodist Church do not believe they are violating denominational rules on ordination by no longer questioning clergy candidates on matters of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
As part of the divisive debate over homosexuality within the UMC, some regional bodies, or Annual Conferences, have had their Boards of Ordained Ministry waive the consideration of a clergy candidate's sexual orientation.
A conservative Anglican leader stated that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's recent comments on evangelism are "half-right."
At an interfaith event held in London earlier this month, the head of the 88 million-member Anglican Communion drew a line between evangelism and proselytizing by saying: "I draw the line in terms of respect for the other; in starting by listening before you speak; in terms of love that is unconditional and not conditional to one iota, to one single element on how the person responds to your own declaration of faith; and of not speaking about faith unless you are asked about faith," said Welby, according to the Telegraph.
"I draw a pretty sharp line, it is all based around loving the person you are dealing with which means you seek their wellbeing and you respect their identity and their integrity." more >>
Delegates at the United Methodist Church's General Conference elected the first-ever African president of their highest ecclesiastical court.
N. Oswald Tweh Sr., a native of Liberia who already sat as a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council, was elected president of the Council last week.
A lay member who was elected to an eight-year term at the 2012 General Conference in Tampa Bay, Florida, Tweh has an extensive legal background, according to the United Methodist News Services. more >>
The United Methodist Church will put a moratorium on its homosexuality debate, delaying at least for the time being efforts to allow for the ordination of non-celibate clergy.
Delegates at the UMC General Conference in Portland, Oregon, voted 428-405 Wednesday evening to adopt a proposal from the Council of Bishops halting Church legislation on human sexuality issues.
Titled "An Offering for a Way Forward," the Council of Bishops' recommendation will involve church leadership appointing a "special commission" to analyze the denomination's official stance on homosexuality, gay marriage, and gay ordination. more >>