United Methodist Church in the News

I just got an email from Michael Zimmerman about the recent United Methodist Church convention. The UMC has incorporated proposed accepting acceptance of evolutionary processes into the Book of Discipline, endorsed the Clergy Letter Project, and opposes religious intrusions into the science classroom.

“Therefore be it resolved that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church go on record as opposing the introduction of any faith-based theories such as Creationism or Intelligent Design into the science curriculum of our public schools.”

(Apparently, the early report is jumping the gun a bit, as the acceptance of evolutionary science one is passed by the committee but not yet acted upon by the plenary.)

Zimmerman notes:

This is fabulous news and we owe a debt of gratitude to Daniel Oertel, Al Kuelling and the Kansas East Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, respectively, for making these three resolutions possible. Please help spread the word about this good news.

Thanks Daniel, Al, and my fellow UMC folks in Kansas. That news brightened up my morning.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

4 thoughts on “United Methodist Church in the News

  • 2008/05/12 at 8:45 am

    I’ll wait to see if this news appears at UD. Hm, come to that I’ll wait to see if this news appears at Pharyngula.

    I’ve never been a Methodist, but I was brought up near Epworth where the Wesleys grew up (the school trip to the rectory was rather boring, I’m afraid), so I feel some sort of affinity to Methodism. So it’s great to hear that they’ve stood up for sensible science.

  • 2008/05/12 at 9:37 am

    I’ve heard that there’s a vestige of crackpottery concerning the antivaccine movement and the UMC, but I haven’t looked into that in detail.

  • 2008/05/12 at 11:08 am

    Sadly, yes – here’s the sad story from General Conference. We also failed to get the offending language on homosexuality removed from the book of discipline. But there were also encouraging developments.

    Are you attending UUMC? I really liked that place, though it may be a bit conservative for my tastes now.

  • 2008/05/13 at 5:29 pm

    I currently work for a Methodist church doing audio/video. The other day I happened to be reading the Skeptic or Skeptical Inquirer on vaccines during the services. The pastor asked to see what I was reading. He certainly had no problem with the publication or its topics, and most ministers in the Methodist Church I know wouldn’t either. My grandfather is a retired Methodist minister, so I’ve been raised around preachers my whole life. Methodism as I know it has never been anti-science.

    However, the autism thing seems to have been so bungled in the media I’m not sure how people who don’t read Skeptic, etc.. could possibly sort through it. Much like when getting my car fixed, I tend to do as the doctor says. I wonder if some doctors contribute to the confusion, or if this is a part of the anti-intellectual, anti-authority thing.

    And regarding the homosexual language, our church has homosexual couples who attend regularly and visibly. I do know this isn’t necessarily the case everywhere, and that is unfortunate. Many Methodist ministers have had their hearts/minds changed on this particular subject as they’ve learned more and more about it. Hopefully we’ll continue to move forward.

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