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 >>
An online petition about the United Methodist Church has called for the denomination to allow local congregations to determine their stance on homosexuality.
Titled "A Way Forward," as of last Saturday the petition calling for individual churches to decide whether or not to consider homosexuality wrong has garnered over 1,600 signatories. "By moving the decision-making regarding homosexuality to the local church, we hope to end the rancor, animosity and endless debate that divide our denomination every four years at General Conference," stated the petition.
"What we propose would allow conservative, centrist and progressive churches to come to their own conclusions regarding this important issue and to focus on how best to minister in their own communities." more >>
A church in Iowa that lost its century-old building to flooding broke ground recently on a new $2 million facility.
Salem United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, which lost the building in 2008, held a groundbreaking for its new building Sunday between worship services.
The $2 million project will include space for a sanctuary, classrooms, nursery, offices, and library, church officials said. From June 2008, to November 2010, Salem members worshiped at three sites before landing at the 33rd Avenue location. more >>
A Tennessee church that recently installed a 'prayer box' for written prayer requests in their parking lot since many commuters use its property to cut through traffic at an intersection may inspire similar boxes nationwide, say church leaders.
Aldersgate United Methodist Church of Jackson erected the prayer box three months ago wherein individuals could slip in a 3x5 note card with information about their prayer request.
Barry Matthews, lay leader at Aldersgate, told The Christian Post that since the box received much media attention, other churches have expressed an interest in undertaking similar efforts. more >>
A lesbian clergy candidate in the United Methodist Church was finally rejected for possible ordination by the denomination.
After a long and uncertain process, Mary Ann Barclay released a statement Tuesday confirming that the Board of Ordained Ministry rejected her candidacy.
The United Methodist Church's internal struggle over the Protestant denomination's stance on homosexuality has become increasingly public over the past few years.
Although the UMC's official position is that of declaring homosexuality sinful and barring practicing homosexuals from the ministry, a number of clergy, groups, and congregations want the church to change. One group, known as the Reconciling Ministries Network, seeks to unite churches under their banner, creating a more inclusive atmosphere for the LGBT community.
Back in the 1980s, RMN created a program in which UMC congregations could become "Reconciling Congregations." more >>