Methodists Nominate 3 Openly Gay Candidates for Bishop

By Emily McFarlan Miller At its quadrennial meeting last month, the United Methodist Church decided not to take up contentious LGBT issues. But that’s not stopping its regional conferences from making decisions on their own. Two U.S. jurisdictions will consider three openly gay candidates for bishop next month. The Rev. Karen Oliveto, the Rev. Frank […]

Supreme Court strikes down abortion restrictions

By Richard Wolf WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court delivered its most significant ruling on abortion in a generation Monday (June 27), striking down restrictions on Texas clinics and doctors that threatened to make the procedure more difficult for women to access. The divided court, acting on the last day of a term in which it […]

African Methodists worry about the church that brought them Christianity

by Emily McFarland Miller* PORTLAND, Ore. (RNS) — The Rev. Jerry Kulah has nothing but gratitude for American Methodists. In 1833, they sent their first missionary to his country, Liberia, which was founded for freed American slaves. Melville B. Cox died four months after he arrived in Africa, but the missionary’s legacy lives on in the […]

Hilary Clinton comes out against BDS as GC2016 prepares to consider the issue

*by Emily McFarlin Miller (RNS) On the eve of her religious denomination’s quadrennial meeting, Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to Jewish agency heads saying she opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel that the meeting will consider. “I believe that BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the […]

6 things to watch at the United Methodist General Conference

By Emily McFarlan Miller* (RNS) The United Methodist Church General Conference convenes once every four years to make policy decisions and set the direction for the denomination. Beginning Tuesday (May 10), 864 delegates, half of them clergy, will converge on the Oregon Convention Center in Portland for 11 days for the General Conference. More than […]

Religion News Service: Methodist General Conference to discuss LGBT issues — again

CHICAGO (RNS) “It’s time,” said the Rev. A. Wendy Witt during Sunday services at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple. Time to open the doors of the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, that is. First United Methodist is one of the more than 750 congregations within the United Methodist Church […]

Kansas pastor steps out of the closet and into the crosshairs

*Religion News Service video by Sally Morrow EDGERTON, Kan. (RNS) The Rev. Cynthia Meyer said she was “called by God to be open and honest” about who she is. So, during her first sermon of 2016, Meyer broke the news: She loves another woman. “I’ve been praying, and in a process of discernment for some time, particularly over the […]

Anti-abortion groups condemn Planned Parenthood shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (RNS) by Steve Rabey For the past five years, Catholic priest Bill Carmody led a weekly Mass in the parking lot of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility where a gunman killed three people last Friday (Nov. 27). In fact, Carmody had been in the parking lot with a handful of protesters […]

Why should we give thanks?

by Kimberly Winston (RNS) Thursday is Thanksgiving, the annual food fest that sometimes devolves into a food fight. So if the conversation around the turkey starts to get a little heated — “Why aren’t you married yet?” “Who are you voting for?” “Refugees, anyone?” — grit your teeth and keep in mind: The impulse to […]

Americans fret about Islam, immigrants, the future — and each other

By CATHY LYNN GROSSMAN c. 2015 Religion News Service (RNS) Americans of all faiths and viewpoints are gloomy about the economy, anxious about Islam, bothered by immigrants and mistrustful across racial lines, a new survey finds. The Public Religion Research Institute’s annual American Values Survey, released Tuesday (Nov. 17), documents discontent among all major religious […]