Churches across the nation are preparing for Scout Sunday celebrations as they await the Boy Scouts of America's decision on whether or not it will allow openly gay members and leaders.
"Scout Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of the beginning of the Scouting program and for the Scouting family to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting," Deron Smith, BSA's Director of Public Relations, told The Christian Post in an emailed statement on Friday. "We encourage our chartered organizations and members to commemorate this date and Scouting's commitment to 'Duty to God.'"
The BSA's National Executive Board is scheduled to meet Monday, Feb. 4, through Wednesday, Feb. 6, and will likely vote on whether or not to allow gay members and leaders into the organization at that time. BSA officials told CP earlier this week that the ban on gay members will likely be overturned. more >>
WASHINGTON – An influential United Methodist pastor who delivered the sermon at the 57th Inaugural Prayer Service stated in his message that America needs a "compelling vision" that unites the country in a time of strong political partisanship.
Adam Hamilton, author and senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., said on Tuesday morning to those gathered at the Washington National Cathedral, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden:
"To many Americans we can feel like a house divided that cannot stand," said Hamilton, regarding the apparent intractability of the current political climate at the federal level and the desperation to find a "common vision….that brings us all together." more >>
A prominent leader within the United Methodist Church believes that pagan origins for certain parts of the Christmas observance are a non-issue.
Taylor Burton-Edwards, director of Worship Resources with the General Board of Discipleship of the UMC, told The Christian Post that using older pagan symbols is not the same as worshipping as a pagan.
"The United Methodist Church has no ritual for Christmas with explicit pagan grounding," said Burton-Edwards, who also serves as an elder in the North Indiana Conference of the UMC. more >>
Some Methodist leaders have expressed doubt that the 45 members of the United Methodist Church in Congress will effectively cooperate as a unit.
Despite the common religious affiliation, some Methodists outside of the federal government doubt that there will be cohesiveness among the UMC members of Congress. Mark Tooley, president of the Institute for Religion & Democracy and author of a book on the history of Methodism in America, told The Christian Post that after Prohibition, cooperation among Methodist politicians has been rare.
"Perhaps, but their UMC affiliation likely won't play strong role in that cooperation. There are few public policy issues that unite UMC members except possibly gambling," said Tooley. more >>
The United Methodist Publishing House has announced that it will be closing down all their Cokesbury stores, supplanting them with business through other venues.
UMPH made the announcement regarding their signature retail store on Monday, referring to the process of removing brick-and-mortar stores, or "Cokesbury/Next," as being a "transition."
"…[T]he number of Cokesbury customers relying solely on store locations has steadily declined," said the Nashville-based company. more >>
The highest court for the United Methodist Church will look at a request from one conference to make a legal decision on the relationship between the denomination and a pro-choice group.
The Judicial Council of the UMC will consider a request from the North Alabama Annual Conference regarding the UMC's connections with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Pastor Junior Plunket, who oversees Old Brashier Chapel UMC in Arab, Ala., submitted the request on June 2 regarding what he believed were apparent contradictions between the views of the RCRC and the principles of the UMC.
"WHEREAS the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice advances abortion rights in any and all circumstances without exception; and, WHEREAS the Methodist movement has historically affirmed all persons as equally valuable in the sight of God," wrote Plunket. more >>