The American Bible Society has produced its list of Most- and Least-Bible-Minded Cities in America: Philadelphia isn’t on either of them. But we are on the society’s overall ranking of 100 American cities—and we come in around the middle: No. 57.
The Inquirer reports that David Norse, 27, has been ordained by Broad Street Ministry as the city’s first openly gay minister. “While David’s sexual orientation is an important part of his identity, he sees himself first and foremost as someone called to pastor God’s people,” said the Rev. Bill Golderer, the church’s senior pastor. “He is very much into this being a dimension of who he is, but not the sum total.” The congregation is part of Presbyterian Church USA, which in 2011 voted to allow ordination of openly gay and lesbian members.
Here’s another happy story to end the year with. I just got an email and press release from Broad Street Ministry (BSM) Covening Minister Bill Golderer, who shared that on January 5 BSM will ordain David Norse, Philadelphia’s first openly gay male Presbyterian minister. From the release:
Rev. Frank Schaefer — the man who was defrocked by the Methodist Church last week after officiating the marriage of his gay son — has been offered a job Bishop Minerva G. Carcano to join the Church’s California-Pacific Annual Conference. If he accepts, he would serve over an area that covers California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. LGBTQ Nation reports:
“Daddy,” my 5-year-old son asked me on Friday. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”
This was a question I’d been expecting for a few weeks — and even for a few years. My wife and I both have long since taken the Christ out of our personal Christmases (we’d both had our crises of faith before we met each other) but continued, like so many people do, to celebrate a holiday packed with family traditions, and to renew them when T was born.
Just, you know, without the churchy stuff.
So probably the easiest thing to do, when T posed his question, would’ve been to take the advice of my colleague Simon van Zuylen-Wood: “Just talk about Santa. I don’t think I learned who Jesus was till I was 18.”
This morning the United Methodist Church handed down its decision on Rev. Frank Schaefer, the PA pastor who was put on suspension for officiating the marriage of his gay son, and the verdict isn’t pretty. He’s been defrocked.
Schaefer met with officials this morning and, according to LGBTQ Nation, he left without issuing a comment. He is expected to make a statement later today.
Rev. Frank Schaefer — the Methodist pastor who was punished for officiating his son’s gay wedding — is nearing the end of his 30-day suspension, a time when he is supposed to either vow to accept Church doctrine that says homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching,” or hand over his credentials.
First of all, let me belatedly congratulate Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a Colorado couple who got married in Massachusetts last year. I hope that Pennsylvania’s gay couples will be able to join them at the altar soon, and I’m glad the 21st century has seen a recognition of their right to get married. It is the best thing about living now that I know of.
But I wish Craig and Mullins had decided to get their wedding cake somewhere else.
Over the weekend we reported the dismal news that Michael Griffin, a gay teacher in Bensalem, Pa., was fired from Holy Ghost Prep after telling his boss that he was going to apply for a license to marry his partner of 12 years. I followed it up with a bland response from the school, in which the school’s employee conduct policy was used as the reason for the firing.
Now the school’s headmaster, James McCloskey, has issued a message that was emailed to alumni and posted on the school’s website. Thanks to former student Robert Nectan Schell for the heads up. It reads as follows: