An panel from the United Methodist Church has agreed to hear an appeal from a Pennsylvania pastor who officiated his son's same-sex wedding. The appeals committee plans to hear the case of defrocked pastor Frank Schaefer this coming summer.
Jen Ihlo, president of the UMC Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals, said in a statement that the appeal will be tried under the authority of the Book of Discipline and will take place on June 20.
The "practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching," according to the UMC Book of Discipline. "Therefore, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church." more >>
NEW YORK – Victims of the East Harlem explosion last week that claimed the lives of eight people are still in shock and disbelief, a New York pastor serving as their prayer coordinator said.
"The general sentiment of those who were affected is one of shock, being stunned, disbelief, grief, sadness. We as the Body of Jesus Christ have come alongside them to console them as Jesus Himself does," the Rev. William Devlin, the Clergy Emergency Prayer Coordinator for Victims of the East Harlem Explosion and the Pastor of the Infinity Bible Church, said in an interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday.
Two mixed-use residential and commercial buildings in East Harlem, Upper Manhattan, collapsed on March 12 following a massive explosion due to a gas leak, resulting in eight deaths and a number of people injured. more >>
Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby signed an agreement Monday to support an anti-slavery, anti-human trafficking initiative. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion backed the initiative known as the Global Freedom Network.
"Many are already engaged in the struggle and we join them with much to learn as well as much to contribute. All are called to join common cause to end this crime and suffering," said Welby. "We are struggling against evil in secret places and in deeply entrenched networks of malice and cruelty. No one of us is strong enough, but together we are ready for the challenge God is placing before us today, and we know that he will strengthen us so that all people may live in freedom and dignity."
In a statement released honoring the occasion, Welby said that the joint endeavor was part of the efforts to have Anglicans and Catholics united. more >>
Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, revealed in a recent interview that his family goes to a Catholic church and that religious morality inspires a lot of his charity work. He also shared his personal thoughts on God and the biggest issues facing the world today.
"The moral systems of religion, I think, are super important. We've raised our kids in a religious way; they've gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in. I've been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that's kind of a religious belief. I mean, it's at least a moral belief," Gates says in an interview with Rolling Stone in the March 27 issue of the magazine.
When asked if he believed in God, he responded, "I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don't know." more >>
More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans responding to a poll on Syria said the U.S. government should help the 9.3 million Syrians in need of humanitarian aid as a result of the ongoing civil war.
Among those who said they are familiar with the Syrian conflict, 47 percent said that increased humanitarian aid is one way the U.S. can help. The same percentage also voted for increased diplomatic pressure. Thirteen percent voted for military action and 14 percent suggested some other way. Less than a quarter (24 percent) said the U.S. should not help in any way.
Other notable statistics from the survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Christian humanitarian organization World Vision, Feb. 28-March 4, among 2,040 adults, showed that one in five, or 21 percent of American adults, admitted to not being at all familiar with the conflict. more >>
A doctor helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon has reported a "shocking" number of severe birth defects in newborn babies, while the devastating civil war enters its fourth year with no end in sight.
"In my short time in Lebanon, I've seen more cases of severe birth defects than during my entire career as a pediatric resident," Dr. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor for NBC News, wrote in a report on Wednesday.
"Many babies born have major malformations of the brain and nervous system: from minor cases of spina bifida where parts of the brain or spinal cord are outside of the body to anencephalic babies born without the majority of their brain." more >>