United Methodist conferences petition denomination on behalf of LGBT rights

(RNS) An Upstate New York bishop has dismissed a 2013 complaint that accused a retired United Methodist pastor of breaking church law by officiating at several same-sex weddings, including his daughter’s. Bishop Mark J. Webb’s May 26 decision to dismiss charges against the Rev. Steve Heiss eliminates a costly and controversial church trial, which in other […]

Rev. Gil Caldwell, a ‘foot soldier’ for civil rights, turns his eye to LGBT rights

DURHAM, N.C. (RNS) The Rev. Gil Caldwell walked onto the campus of Duke Divinity School, leaning on a cane, alongside thousands of Duke alumni arriving for a reunion. But unlike the others, he wasn’t returning for a stroll down memory lane. He had come here for a glimpse of what might have been. Some 60 […]

With Presbyterians in the Yes Column, Mainline Protestants Solidify Gay Marriage Support

(RNS) With the largest Presbyterian denomination’s official endorsement Tuesday (March 17), American mainline Protestants have solidified their support for gay marriage, leaving the largest mainline denomination — the United Methodist Church — outside the same-sex marriage fold. Methodists, with more than 7 million members, rejected same-sex marriage at their last national conference, in 2012. They are likely to revisit […]

Steadier footing: an examination of our stance on inclusive faith and practice

To understand Scripture we must plant one foot firmly in the world of the Bible and the other foot firmly in our world–two worlds that often are very different.

UM clergy Frank Schaefer’s “Defrocked” released today by Chalice Press

Today is the official release by Chalice Press of UM clergy Frank Schaefer’s book “Defrocked.” Due to the continuing attention around the UMC community on this polarizing subject, UMR is posting an exclusive book excerpt and a UMR editor will separately review Schaefer’s book in the coming weeks.

Schaefer’s new book and the shifting LGBT inclusion conversation

By Cassandra Lawrence Rev. Frank Schaefer’s personal retelling of the events leading up to his trial and defrocking, are detailed in his new book, “Defrocked: How a Father’s Love Shook the United Methodist Church” (UMC). “I never got to tell my side of the story,” Schaefer says on why he wrote the memoir, which officially […]

10 Retired Clergy Say They Will Officiate at Weddings of Same-Sex Couples

Even though their denomination’s policy officially prohibits clergy from officiating at the wedding of any same-sex couple at the risk of losing their ordination, ten retired United Methodist clergy have stated their intent to make themselves available to officiate weddings of same-sex couples.

Recently Read: Scouts remove gay troop leader at United Methodist Church

Up until a few days ago Geoff McGrath believed he was the only openly gay scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America. Geoff McGrath, 49, leader of Troop 98 in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, is believed to be the first gay adult to be booted from the Boy Scouts of America since it held a […]

Lay of the Land: Getting to know gay people makes big difference

By Richard Hearne, UMR Columnist… In the roughly 30 years I have been involved in local church, annual conference, jurisdiction and General Conference activities, I have been in many contentious meetings. The most contentious meeting I ever attended was over the topic of the marriage policy in my local church. Every parent that had an […]

Can’t we agree that we disagree?

As a part of the United Methodist Church, I know what division looks like. I have seen arguments over everything from pension plans, to whether or not church structure should be changed. One major argument has been going on for about four decades about whether or not LGBT persons should be allowed to fully participate […]