United Methodist Church's General Conference, gay and lesbian activists have printed pamphlets promoting their cause in five languages, including Portuguese and Swahili....from the RNS...
United Methodists who support gay rights have proposed about 100
resolutions this year that would lift the bans and excise the
“incompatible” phrase from the Book of Discipline. Leading up to General Conference, they argued that momentum is on their side.
For example, last year a UMC court barely punished a Wisconsin minister
who sanctioned a same-sex marriage; more than 1,200 retired and active
UMC clergy have pledged to perform gay marriages; surveys show young
Christians generally support gay rights; and other mainline Protestants
-- including Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians -- have adopted
gay-friendly policies in recent years.
Some United Methodists argue that policy should be set by regional conferences and reflect local mores.
For example, pastors who live where gay marriage is legal should be
permitted to wed same-sex couples in their congregations, said the Rev.
Dean Snyder, senior pastor of Washington's Foundry United Methodist Church.
Foundry proposed a resolution that would allow churches in six states
and the District of Columbia to celebrate same-sex marriage, and sent 50
volunteers to Tampa to lobby for it. Snyder said his church has celebrated about 10 same-sex weddings since
2010, when D.C. legalized gay marriage. That admission could place the
longtime pastor’s career in jeopardy if UMC policy is not changed at
It may very well be that Methodism will put off formal adoption of the GLBT agenda but it can hardly be said that this will sit well or satisfy the American segment of Methodism. In fact, it is highly likely that with or without formal sanction for such local or regional choice, Methodists will tacitly allow the growing proportion of those friendly to the blessing of homosexual marriages and the expulsion of all formal impediments to gay clergy and the full inclusion of gays and lesbians into every aspect of the Methodist Church's life and structure.
This might prevent the wholesale exodus of congregations and people from Methodism for a time but it will ultimately only postpone Methodists from facing up to the obvious and accepting the full measure of the consequences of their decision. Even if the tide is prevented now, it is certainly only a matter of time before the full GLBT agenda will become fully accepted by Methodism.
In Lutheranism, the prominent decisions of a few church bodies have forced the hand of the Lutheran World Federation and that international body is working toward the expectation of all member churches that gays and lesbians will be fully accepted in every level of the Lutheran identity and life. This very thing may assist the Missouri Synod in its ecumenical endeavor and help us begin the conversation with those unwilling to follow where Scandinavian Lutherans and the ELCA have led the way...