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 >>
Presbyterian Church (USA)'s donations to local missions increased by an estimated $7.7 million last year despite continued declines in congregations and membership numbers.
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released their statistics for 2015 on Monday, reporting that giving to local missions was up.
According to the recently released annual statistics, local mission giving went from approximately $125 million in 2014 to approximately $132 million in 2015. more >>
A group of United Methodist clergy who support ending the Church's ban on ordaining non-celibate homosexuals performed an unofficial ordination service for a lesbian.
Sue Laurie, a longtime LGBT activist, was ordained in an unofficial ceremony held at the United Methodist Church's General Conference in Portland, Oregon, last Tuesday.
According to Barton Dempsey of the theologically conservative Institute on Religion & Democracy, this ceremony "has no standing" even though several UMC clergy took part. more >>
A United Methodist Church bishop believes that disagreements among Christians about LGBT issues and gay marriage are "destroying the very soul" of the church, creating conflict and discord where there should be unity.
"Disagreements among us have led to unbridled acrimony that has led to seeing those with whom we disagree as being other than fully human or as really or truly Christians," said Bishop Gregory Palmer of UMC's West Ohio Conference, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
"Our capacity to turn on each another is destroying the very soul of this church, and our willingness to turn on each other rather than toward each other is under-serving our mission," he added. more >>
A local leader in the Presbyterian Church (USA) is concerned about a recently released report that finds nearly 1 in 5 members are disappointed with the direction of the denomination.
Titled "When We Gather at the Table: A PC(USA) Snapshot," the non-scientific survey of about 3,000 members of the denomination classified 19 percent of respondents as "disappointed and discerning," which meant they did not like the direction of the Church and were seriously considering leaving.
A high-profile Baptist minister in the U.K. who last week applied to issue same-sex marriage licenses has been criticized by leading American creationist Ken Ham, who called the decision a "flagrant disobedience of God's Word."
While Ham did not identify the pastor by name, Pastor Steve Chalke of Oasis Church in Waterloo, London, made news when he announced that his ministry will seek to be LGBT inclusive, and applied to issue gay marriage licenses.
Gay marriage was made legal in England, Scotland and Wales in 2013, although individual churches were left with the option to decide on their own whether they would condone same-sex marriage. more >>