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 >>
A mainline Protestant denomination whose governing documents declare homosexuality incompatible with Christianity will soon offer benefits to same-sex couples.
The United Methodist Church's General Council on Finance and Administration will provide benefits to agency employees with same-gender spouses. While the UMC GCFA decision derived from a vote taken last year, it was not until last week that the highest court in the denomination ruled that it was acceptable.
During its April session in Little Rock, Arkansas, the United Methodist Judicial Council ruled in Decision No. 1264 that the GCFA's benefits expansion did not contradict the guidelines of the Book of Discipline. more >>
A petition signed by over 22,000 people was sent to a regional leadership of the United Methodist Church in defense of a pastor who officiated a same-sex wedding.
Faithful America gave a copy of their petition to the UMC North Texas Annual Conference on Tuesday to demand that no trial be held for retired pastor Bill McElvaney.
"Please join Bishop Martin McLee in committing not to put pastors on trial for performing gay weddings. It's time to put Jesus' commandment to love our neighbors ahead of unjust church rules," reads the petition, posted in March. more >>
A large number of seminary graduates are dealing with overwhelming debt upon graduation, according to a new study by a research organization connected to Auburn Theological Seminary.
Many of these graduates are forced to moonlight at other jobs to make ends meet, found the Center for the Study of Theological Education.
A United Methodist Church pastor based in Texas will undergo an investigation for performing a same-sex marriage in defiance of the church body's law.
Bishop Michael McKee of the North Texas Annual Conference announced Monday that retired clergyman the Reverend Bill McElvaney would undergo a "supervisory process."
"Administrative and pastoral in nature, this process seeks a just resolution in which God's work of justice, reconciliation, and healing may be realized in the body of Christ," said McKee. "It is my prayer that our members, both clergy and laity, affirm the goals of this process with their prayers and respect for the confidential nature of this process which seeks reconciliation as its ultimate goal." more >>
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 >>