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June 25th, 2014
08:51 AM ET

Pastor who officiated son's same-sex wedding reinstated

(CNN) – The Pennsylvania minister who was defrocked for officiating his son's same-sex wedding was reinstated Tuesday by the United Methodist Church.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor at Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, had his credentials restored and is now entitled to lost salary and benefits since his defrocking in December, according to a written decision released by the church.

Church changes its marriage definition Ten years of same-sex marriage

Schaefer was waiting for a phone call to inform him of the church's verdict, when he received the happy news as an e-mail attachment.

He opened up the PDF.

"I had to scroll all the way to the bottom to find out what the verdict was, and the verdict was that I am reinstated as an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church," he told a group of people.

They broke into applause.

Schaefer was suspended for 30 days following his initial trial, with the condition that after his suspension he was to deliver a written report assuring the judiciary board that going forward he would never officiate another same-sex wedding. When Schaefer refused to do so, he was defrocked.

Schaefer told CNN then that he could not commit to a statement like that because he has two more children who are gay.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Methodist • Same-sex marriage

The pastor who shaped Hillary Clinton's politics
Hillary Rodham Clinton with the Rev. Don Jones, a pastor who had a lasting influence on her politics.
April 25th, 2014
01:43 PM ET

The pastor who shaped Hillary Clinton's politics

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – In the spring of 1962, Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most controversial men in America. One night in Chicago's Orchestra Hall after delivering a stirring speech on civil rights and the future of America, he shook hands with a standout 15-year-old with conservative parents, Hillary Rodham.

More than 50 years later, the moment still resonates profoundly with Clinton, who has had an illustrious political career and could again seek to make history as the first woman president.

"Probably my great privilege as a young woman was going to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak," Clinton said earlier this year at an event at the University of Miami. "I sat on the edge of my seat as this preacher challenged us to participate in the cause of justice, not to slumber while the world changed around us. And that made such an impression on me."

Clinton has traced much of her life in politics and activism to King's words that night. But there was another minister, not famous like King, who also influenced her views on social justice and stoked an intensity for action.

Don Jones was the Methodist youth pastor who organized the trip of like-minded teens to see King, and mentored her for the rest of his life.

"Don opened up a new world to me," Clinton said in 2009, the year he died, "and helped guide me on a spiritual, social and political journey of over 40 years."

FULL STORY

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Hillary Clinton • Methodist • Politics

Obama thanked for living in 'glass house' at National Prayer Service
January 23rd, 2013
03:09 AM ET

Obama thanked for living in 'glass house' at National Prayer Service

By the CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – On the day following his ceremonial inauguration, President Barack Obama received warm praise Tuesday while attending an interfaith prayer service at the National Cathedral.

Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Kansas, said Americans should "more often" give thanks to Obama and those who serve in higher elected office.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Church • Methodist • Obama

U.N. partnering with faith groups
September 27th, 2010
01:37 PM ET

U.N. partnering with faith groups


Editor's Note: CNN White House Producer Xuan Thai filed this report from the U.N. General Assembly.

It might be called a match made in heaven. The United Nations is partnering with faith based organizations and their vast network of donors, development groups, and grass roots organizers to bring aid to developing countries around the world. You could say they are putting their money where their mouth is. Except both groups have been putting money up for a long time.

Last week during the annual U.N. General Assembly, the United Methodist Church announced a five year, $75 million pledge to the United Nations’ Global Fund, the first of its kind for the fund.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Church • Methodist

July 12th, 2010
08:04 PM ET

Church awaits word on members injured in Uganda bombings

Tim and Debbie Bingaman, whose foster son was injured in the Uganda blasts, reading the bible in Christ Community United Methodist Church.

CNN correspondent Mary Snow filed this report today from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania:

Members of the Christ Community United Methodist Church in rural Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania walked in and out of their church throughout the day, desperate for information about five fellow congregants injured in Sunday’s terror bombings in Uganda.

As some prayed, others checked their Facebook pages and emails for any updates. The pastor, the Rev. Kathleen Kind fielded a steady flow of phone calls from members and reporters. And the church updated its own mission website with the latest news.

The attack is testing the faith of a small town church that never thought terrorism would hit home.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Methodist • Missionaries • Uganda

July 12th, 2010
03:11 PM ET

My take: In face of Uganda blasts, mission spirit endures

A doctor treats a victim of the Kampala blasts on Sunday.

Editor's Note: Thomas Kemper is General Secretary of the United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries, which works is more than 125 countries.

By Thomas Kemper, Special to CNN

The thoughts and prayers of the United Methodist mission community are with all those injured and the families of the persons killed in the bombing in Kampala, Uganda on July 11. We join our hearts to the injured mission volunteers from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, several from Christ Community Church, a United Methodist congregation.

We are thankful that no one was injured in another volunteer mission group from Alabama in Uganda at the same time.

Short-term, voluntary service has become a common and compelling experience in Christian mission today. Groups such as the one from Selinsgrove working in Uganda go to many places, especially in summer, to join with local churches in building, educational, medical, and evangelism projects.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Methodist • Uganda • Violence

July 12th, 2010
12:04 PM ET

Pastor to wounded missionaries in Uganda: 'God is bigger than any evil'

People watch the World Cup final at a restaurant in Kampala late on July 11, moments before blasts tore through the crowds.

The Rev. Kathleen Kind leads the Pennsylvania congregation that saw five missionaries injured in yesterday's Uganda bombings. She spoke with CNN Monday morning about the condition of the injured and about how the incident would affect future missions at the 500-member Christ Community United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

What’s the latest on the injured missionaries from your church?

Those injured are receiving medical treatment and a number of them are en route to other hospitals for more specific or higher quality medical services. Everybody is alive and everybody is stable. We had six people in our group and five of them were injured, some seriously. Some of the wounds involve broken bones and shrapnel. The State Department, the consulate and the General Board of Global Ministries, an agency of the United Methodist Church, are all working together to provide as much care as necessary for our team members.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Methodist • Missionaries • Protestant • Uganda

July 12th, 2010
09:09 AM ET

American missionaries injured in Ugandan blast

Among those injured in the Sunday night bombings in Uganda that left at least 74 dead were a group of American missionaries.  CNN's Don Lemon spoke with the Rev. Kathleen Kind, the pastor from the missionaries' home church, Christ Community United Methodist Church, in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

Here's the full story.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Methodist • Missionaries • Uganda • Violence

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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