UMC Post GC: Several Articles
Again, we apologize. Post GC exhaustion, major project at our day jobs, family illnesses left us a bit winded. We’re starting to get our breath back.
United Methodist Pastor Preaches for Gay Equality Within
Willow Grove United Methodist Church pastor, the Rev. Cynthia Skripak, discusses her sermon on why the United Methodist Church should allow openly gay clergy and members.
May 25, 2012
Earlier this month, during the church service of Willow Grove United Methodist Church, the Rev. Cynthia Skripak stood behind the pulpit and talked about heartbreak.
May 3, 2012 1:35PM
Methodists Vote to Keep Homosexuality “Incompatible”
Post by Candace Chellew-Hodge
The United Methodist Church voted today to keep intact its section in the Book of Discipline that call homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching" and sanctions only heterosexual marriage. New wording would have removed those passages.
The vote came after a debate that became contentious when one African delegate compared homosexuality to bestiality and declared that God would not create humans as gay or lesbian.
During the vote, supporters of the petition to change the Book of Discipline stood at the edges of the convention floor, or the "bar" as the church calls it. As the debate continued, many delegates moved from their seats to join the members on the margins to show their solidarity. In the end the petition failed to pass.
Methodists Vote to Keep Stand on Homosexuality
Friday May 4, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - After an emotional debate, Methodists at a national legislative meeting Thursday upheld the denomination’s policy that same-sex relationships are "incompatible with Christian teaching.’"
Delegates at the General Conference voted by about 60 percent to 40 percent against softening the language on homosexuality in their Book of Discipline, which contains church laws and doctrine. The meeting is held once every four years, which means the policy won’t come up for a conference vote again until 2016.
Advocates for gay and lesbian Methodists gathered in the convention hall wearing rainbow stoles and protested the vote by singing and interrupting the meeting. Some cried when the vote tally was announced. Methodist leaders briefly shut down business in response to the protest.
May 5, 2012 | TAMPA, Fla. (UMNS)
United Methodists from five continents addressed a wide range of challenging issues, including church structure and human sexuality, and engaged in an Act of Repentance toward indigenous people during their 10-day legislative gathering.
Meeting in the Tampa Convention Center, steps away from the waters of Tampa Bay, the 988 delegates recalled through worship, song and sermon the healing and transforming ministry of Jesus beside the Sea of Galilee.
General Conference ignores Wesley’s “do no harm” rule
May 7, 2012
“The derogatory rules and restrictions in the Book of Discipline are immoral and unjust and no longer deserve our loyalty and obedience. Thus the time has come for those of us who are faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to do what is required of us….The time has come to join in an act of Biblical obedience. I call on the more than 1,100 clergy [who have signed marriage initiatives] to stand firm in their resolve to perform marriages for same-sex couples and to do so in the course of their normal pastoral duties, thus defying the laws that prohibit them from doing so….The time for talking is over. It’s time for us to act in defiance of unjust words of immoral and derogatory discrimination and laws that are doing harm to our GLBT sisters and brothers.”
Wrong, Stupid and Evil — the United Methodist Position on Homosexuality
I’m not exactly sure why I hoped that General Conference would have a change of heart this year and, after ten times getting it wrong, finally come around to the Jesus side on the issue of homosexuality in the church. After all, every four years since 1972 without exception we’ve heard the same refrain from our elected denominational leaders — “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
So why did I get my hopes up and think this year might be different?
For one thing, it’s clear our country and culture have come a long way in 40 years.
Amid division, only one view can hold us together
By the Rev. Rob Renfroe
United Methodists have reaffirmed 2000 years of Christian teaching regarding sexuality. This is the same view held by the most rapidly growing parts of the church today. And it is the only view that will hold The United Methodist Church together.
Our view on sexuality is a compassionate, biblical and beautifully nuanced statement. It affirms the worth of every person, declares sexuality to be a gracious gift of God, protects the rights of those who might be mistreated because of their sexuality, and states what the Bible affirms – not all sexual practices, heterosexual or homosexual, are acceptable in the sight of God.
Unfortunately, this view doesn’t fare well in an overly sexualized, decadent Western culture that prizes individual happiness and cares little for biblical holiness. Our society teaches us from the youngest of ages that sex is our right, that an active sex life is essential for being a whole and healthy person, and that the Bible is unable to speak to our modern way of life.
Conference stirs heartache, hope for future
By the Rev. Gil Caldwell*
At the end of the closing worship service at General Conference 2012, these words from one of the songs jumped out at me: “All of us have sailed on the rivers of heartache.”
I believe that many if not all of the delegates left the General Conference with “heartache” because of their concern for someone else, or because of their own inner pain resulting from disappointment because of their sense of incompleteness regarding what had transpired in Tampa, Fla.
I “attended” General Conference, even though I remained in my home in Asbury Park, N.J. Thanks to United Methodist Communications/United Methodist News Service, I had my first experience of live streaming, and through the screen of my laptop computer, I was present for all of the plenary sessions.
A Post-Mortem on GC 2012
Robert Hoshibata is Bishop of the Portland Area of The United Methodist Church and presides over the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.
This is my post mortem for General Conference 2012. I had to take a week to let everything settle in my soul. Kind of like a mourning period, I guess. There are many thoughts swirling in my head and heart. I may write several blog entries. But for now, here’s my thinking:
Living the Connection: let’s deal with our woundedness
May 15th, 2012
On the last day of General Conference 2012 I went by the information booth. I was on my way to my last official responsibility and I wanted to make sure I knew where I needed to go. Our wonderfully kind United Methodist volunteers from the Florida Conference were there serving us all with their smiles and extraordinary hospitality.
Why the United Methodist Church Canceled Votes on Same-Sex Marriage, Gay Clergy
by Daniel Burke 05-08-2012 | 6:06am
United Methodists concluded their General Conference last Friday (May 4) without voting on gay clergy or same-sex marriage, a surprising end to a disappointing week for gay activists.
Last Thursday, the nearly 1,000 delegates gathered in Tampa, Fla., soundly rejected two motions that would have amended the United Methodist Church's book of doctrine and rules, which calls the practice of homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching." After those votes, protesters flooded the convention floor, briefly shutting down the conference.