Gift from WNC Methodists presented to Pope Francis

HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. — A little bit of Western North Carolina is presented to the Pope.

Lake Junaluska World Methodist Museum wanted to present Pope Francis with a small sculpture of Methodist church founder John Wesley, seeing parallels between them.

“The Pope goes into the communities,” museum director Jackie Bolden said. “He goes into the slums, and when he travels, he goes where the people are.”  Continue reading…

Methodists not alone facing LGBT split

1005710142-oh-col-mt-religiVIDEO:  In a divide over LGBT issues that’s been called painful and destructive, some have started to lose hope that a Protestant denomination that claims “united” in its very name will remain that way.

Across the United Methodist Church, there’s a lack of faith that common ground will be found, and it comes from both sides of the aisle — from those who advocate for same-sex marriage and the ordination of openly gay clergy, and from those who are adamant that such actions fly in the face of the Scripture.

The United Methodist Church will continue its decades-old debate at its General Conference in Portland, Oregon, this week, but it’s far from the first group to struggle to navigate this massive chasm.

LGBT issues led to a split in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2009 and have caused dozens of congregations to break from the U.S. Episcopal Church since 2003. Some congregations have left the Southern Baptist Convention over the debate, and member-led groups have formed in an effort to advocate change in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The most vocal conflicts have come in mainline Protestant denominations, which include the Methodist Church, because they are willing to discuss the matter, said Don Huber, professor emeritus of church history at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley.  Source