Saturday, May 15, 2010

United Methodists might broach subject of gay preachers

Will they follow the lead of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America? 

Last update: May 14, 2010 - 3:09 PM

Are the United Methodists preparing to follow the lead of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in allowing gay ministers?

The ELCA spent a decade arguing over the matter before it voted last summer to recognize gay and lesbian ministers who are involved in monogamous relationships. The United Methodists aren't anywhere lose to taking a similar vote; the best description of their situation is that they are thinking about thinking about it.

At its meeting next month, the Minnesota Annual Conference has agreed to accept eight petitions dealing with the church's stance on homosexuality. But conference officials aren't promising that the petitions will reach the floor. They will be debated "if there is time."

The petitions address specific clauses in church law. They include lifting the ban on gay preachers, deleting the word "heterosexual" from the definition of marriage and removing the statement, "The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching..."

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