Although the United Methodist Church delayed a decision on gay clergy and same sex marriage at its general conference, there are many regional conferences that have adopted resolutions in opposition to the denomination’s book of discipline, which condemns practicing homosexuality. In addition, two jurisdictions will be considering 3 openly gay candidates for bishop, one of whom has been considered in the past.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
Gay clergy will become an increasingly divisive issue for denominations and churches. How can you prepare for this debate in your own circles?
- Faithfulness vs. Discrimination? The two sides of the gay clergy debate will argue biblical faithfulness vs. discrimination, but is there room for a conversation beyond this divide?
- Policies May Change: Just because your denomination has a policy on same sex marriage or gay clergy, it’s possible that groups may challenge it. How will your church navigate that possibility?
- Gay and Celibate? Where do we draw the line for clergy who are gay and celibate? Many celibate gays report being treated as sinners despite their claims of not choosing their orientation.
This debate isn’t going away any time soon. Can we find faithful and gracious ways to move forward?
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