The Mennonite media and Homesexuality

Reports  by Mennonite media relates to homosexuality and the review of pastors’ credentials after performances of same sex marriages. The news is noted in the order it appeared in the most recent issue of the Mennonite World Review.

  • With the approval of her congregation, Megan Ramer married three same sex couples in 2011. Central District took a two part action on her credentials.  The credentials have been affirmed, but a note in her ministerial information form now states that her actions were at variance with Mennonite Church polity.
  • In 2010 Joanne Harader, pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Lawrence, Kansas, officiated at a covenant ceremony for two women who are not members of the congregation. After a review of Harader’s credentials, the leadership commission found them to be in order. Now a resolution by the Bethel Mennonite Church of Inman, Kansas, has called for suspension of her credentials by the district.
  • In 2005, because of its position on homosexuality the voting rights of the Hyattsville Mennonite Church were removed by the Allegheny conference   Now the district council is asking the conference to work toward reconciliation.
  • An editorial on “Discerning Locally” by Editor Paul Shrag urged that congregations and pastors be given freedom of conscience.
  • Joanna Harader explained in a blog “Why I officiated a same-sex ceremony” and revealed that she did so with the support of her congregation.
  • Joanna Harader’s blog was on line and there had been pro and con  responses which are summarized in the Mennonite World Review.
  • In the World & Faith section of the Mennonite World Review the editors included an article that was headlined “On gay marriage, many look to Golden Rule.”
  • In the same section was the news that the Methodist denomination upheld its stance on homosexual practice. The denomination’s diversity was on display even as its stance was upheld.
  • A letter in the “Opinion” section of the World Review was signed by 32 pastors, leaders, teachers and individuals who expressed a concern for the denomination. The letter cited the depth of convictions held by various segments of the church and urged that the discussion of this issue be ended.

The Old Fool has his own views about these matters. He commends the editors of Mennonite media for reporting divergent news and views. He urges all who are interested in and concerned for the Mennonite church and its mission to read issues of  The Mennonite World Review and The Mennonite.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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