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 >>
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 >>
Thousands of people have taken part in an online survey done by a United Methodist Church commission which was about the issue of gender descriptions and images people use for God.
The UMC General Commission on the Status and Role of Women posted the survey online, garnering about 3,700 respondents until it officially closed on Thursday.
Of the 3,700+ respondents, 40 percent of them were male and 60 percent female, with 65 percent being laity and 35 percent being clerics or people undergoing the process of becoming clerics. more >>
The highest court in the United Methodist Church has ruled that a Texas bishop must deliver a ruling on the eligibility of a lesbian candidate for ordination.
The United Methodist Judicial Council decided that Bishop James Dorff of the UMC Southwest Texas Conference must issue a ruling on whether the Conference's board of ordained ministry acted properly in the removal of Mary Ann Kaiser.
Dorff must respond within 60 days of being notified of the decision, the UMJC stated in its ruling of the case regarding the Southwest Texas Conference Saturday. more >>
Nearly five centuries ago in Central Europe, an unknown Augustinian monk decided to nail 95 theses to a church door, sparking a religious revolution felt to the present day.
Reformation Day, the anniversary of when Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation, is an observance remembered by hundreds of American churches in the modern day. While the exact date of Luther's call to theological debate was Oct. 31, or the Eve of All Saints' Day, many Protestant congregations choose to observe the occasion on the last Sunday in the month. This year, Reformation Sunday will fall on Oct. 27, with Protestant denominations such as Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Baptists drawing attention to the past.
For Pastor Skip Athey of Grace & Truth Family Baptist Church, a Floridian congregation with an average attendance of over 100, Reformation Day is "a way to connect with Protestant Church history." more >>