The United Methodist Church had its largest amount of funds donated online in a single-day during the #GivingTuesday observance, the denomination's leaders report.
About $6.5 million was donated to UMC missions on the Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the UMC General Board of Global Ministries. The idea of putting a focus on "giving" rather than "shopping" on the day after Cyber Monday and three days after Black Friday appears to have gained momentum this year thanks to social media.
A Massachusetts superior court judge has rejected a motion for an injunction against a program that would provide taxpayer funds to go to a restoration project for a historic church located in Martha's Vineyard.
Judge Richard T. Moses ruled earlier this week against a preliminary injunction being brought to halt the Community Preservation Coalition's funding of restoration work to Trinity United Methodist Church of Oak Bluffs Campground. "The court finds that there has been an insufficient showing of a likelihood of success on the merits and that granting of the injunction wouldn't be in the public interest," wrote Moses.
Established in 2000 by the Community Preservation Act, the CPC's stated purpose is to help Massachusetts communities preserve various sites and locales as well as help with growth. "CPA is a smart growth tool that helps communities preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities," reads the "Overview" entry on its website. more >>
A United Methodist Church leader has been elected to the post of General Secretary/President for the National Council of Churches.
James E. Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, was elected earlier this week by the NCC Governing Board.
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 >>