Positive Living: A former Methodist laments — It’s Homophobia!

By : Greg Stemm
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As most people are aware, the United Methodist Church’s board of directors recently voted to uphold that body’s ban on performing gay marriages and ordaining gay pastors. For a church that once touted a slogan of “open hearts, open doors, open minds,” it seems to me that they have proven they espouse none of those things.

For a season of my life (mostly because it’s where my parents belonged) I was a card-carrying member of the United Methodist Church. In fact, my senior year of high school I was president of my Methodist Youth Fellowship. I was a closeted kid in a corn field in Ohio and just beginning my spiritual journey. I even went to a United Methodist liberal arts college, Otterbein University in a suburb of Columbus. Today I hardly recognize that earlier version of myself.

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OnePULSE Foundation to honor Parkland victims at one-year mark of school shooting

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | OnePULSE Foundation announced that it will begin honoring victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 7 at the Pulse Interim Memorial.

According to a press release sent out by the foundation, a banner will hang at Pulse for “community members to leave messages of love, hope and support.” They will also tie 17 ribbons – one for each of the victims – on trees at the memorial.

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PHOTOS: The Reformation Project’s 6th annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference holds service in Orlando

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | LGBTQ Christians, theologians and allies all gathered to worship and learn about LGBTQ inclusion in the church held by The Reformation Project. The event — the sixth annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference — was held at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando Oct. 18-20.

The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, nonprofit Christian grassroots organization that works to promote the inclusion of LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups in the church. The organization focuses on reforming the church’s teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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PHOTOS: Church bells fill downtown Orlando as Pulse shooting hits 2-year mark

By : Layla Ferris
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ORLANDO | The First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando tolled its bells 49 times at noon June 12 to honor those who died in the Pulse nightclub shooting two years ago.

“It’s such a beautiful thing to know that your loved ones will never be forgotten,” Robin Maynard-Harris says to nearly 100 people who gathered at the church.

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