“Our policy is to be guided by the Holy Spirit as we seek to judge the readiness of those called to lay ministry, the ministry of local pastors, associate membership or ordained ministry.” — New England board of ordained ministry statement on gay clergy candidates.
“In the written examination, the South Georgia board of ordained ministry asks, ‘Are you a self-avowed, practicing homosexual?’ We strictly follow the Discipline.” — The Rev. Jay Harris of the South Georgia Conference.
New England, South Georgia differ on gay clergy
LAWRENCE, Mass. (UMNS) — The New England Conference began with a gathering to remember the Orlando shooting victims, and that became a passionate conversation about the pain felt by many about the violence and the church’s stance on LGBTQ people. This came one day after the board of ordained ministry said it won’t consider the sexuality of ministry candidates. Meanwhile, the South Georgia Conference stressed upholding the Book of Discipline’s stance on sexuality. Kathy L. Gilbert and Beth DiCocco report.
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Finding peace from conflict, post-Soweto
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (UMNS) — South African and ecumenical church leaders marked the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising with a consultation designed to assist those in today’s conflict or post-conflict countries. The 55 participants included a representative of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Linda Bloom reports.
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Methodism’s role in post-apartheid South Africa
DURHAM, N.C. (UMNS) — Today, in post-apartheid South Africa, the church and the seminary have an important role in helping to build and sustain democratic institutions, says Simangaliso Kumalo, the president of Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary. Duke Divinity School’s Faith and Leadership has a Q&A with the seminary president. The seminary is part of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.
Africa University graduates 841 students
OLD MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — In the largest graduation ceremony since its inception, United Methodist Africa University celebrated 841 students representing 26 African countries. The Rev. Maidstone Mulenga of the Baltimore-Washington Conference reports.
Faith leaders seek sentencing reform
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — Faith leaders from across the country converged on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol this week to pray for victims and families of the Orlando shooting and to pray that another issue critical to safety and security — reform of systems that imprison 2.3 million Americans — is accomplished through changes in federal sentencing guidelines.
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Ways to cope when you want to quit ministry
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (UMNS) — Ministry is like most occupations. There are times, in the immortal words of Johnny Paycheck, when you want to “take this job and shove it.” In a commentary for Ministry Matters, the Rev. Talbot Davis, pastor of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, offers five ways to cope.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Friday-Sunday, July 8-10
Upper Room’s “Journey to the Table” — The Upper Room is introducing a new ministry of spiritual formation for young adults, Journey to the Table. Registration is now open for the program, which will be held at Scarritt-Bennett Retreat Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Registration is $200. Scholarships are available. Details