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Controversy
A gay Tennessee couple said they were assaulted when they tried to attend church services at the Grace Fellowship Church in Fruitland last Wednesday, an attack that was prompted by one of the gay men’s father. “I went over to take the keys out of the ignition and all the sudden I hear someone say ‘sick’em,'” said Gibson County resident, Jerry Pittman Jr. “My uncle and two other deacons came over to the car per my dad’s request. My uncle smashed me in the door as the other deacon knocked my boyfriend back so he couldn’t help me, punching him in his face and his chest. The other deacon came and hit me through my car window in my back,” said Pittman. He said bystanders did not offer assistance. He said the deacon yelled derogatory homosexual slurs, even after officers arrived. He said the officers never intervened to stop the deacons from yelling the slurs. Friday, the couple filed assault charges against Deacons Billy Sims and Eugene McCoy. Pittman pressed additional charges against his father and Deacon Patrick Flatt. Thoughts? Is there anyone that can justify the actions of this pastor and deacons? Of course, there is a family dispute element here, but is there ever a time when someone should be physically restrained from entering a church service?  Maybe a domestic violence situation…?  Someone who would be verbally disruptive? Have any of you had to deal with a situation that was uncomfortable, or, like this, turned to blows? Todd More here.
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Current Events
As a pastor, you’ve got to be pretty ticked to shove one of your 76 year-old lady congregants.  But it happened.  Here’s the report: A simmering, months-long conflict between congregants at Kalamazoo’s St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and church officials reached a boiling point Sunday, with a police report filed against the pastor for allegedly shoving an elderly parishioner. The Rev. Jay R. Lawlor was accused of pushing Marcia Morrison, 76, during a heated discussion about recent events at the church. A witness said Morrison was not injured in the incident, which occurred immediately after Sunday morning’s service. Sunday’s altercation at the church came four days after Episcopal Bishop Robert Gepert announced he was taking over the parish and disbanding its lay board, and after Lawlor terminated the employment of the parish secretary, music director and facilities manager. via MLive.com. QUESTION:  Have you ever seen ministry come to blows?  Have you ever touched or been touched?  Have you ever wanted to shove, kick, or punch someone? Why?  What could happen to pull YOUR trigger?
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