According to reporting from Heather Hahn (UMNS), United Methodist bishops find themselves “off the map” as they try to navigate a way forward through the church’s impasse over homosexuality, said Bishop Bruce R. Ough of the Dakotas-Minnesota area. “There is currently no larger or intractable barrier to the mission, unity and vitality of The United Methodist Church than the matter of homosexuality,” the Council of Bishops president said November 6, in his fall address to 127 of his episcopal colleagues.
From our vantage point, it is noteworthy, but not surprising, that the Council of Bishops addressed this “intractable barrier” by inviting Bishop Karen Oliveto, the controversial episcopal leader of the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area, to preach one of the opening sermons before their gathering. Oliveto, of course, is married to another woman and has been publicly forthcoming about performing more than 50 same-sex weddings prior to becoming a bishop last year. It remains a mystery how this preaching invitation helps create unity or strengthen the mission, unity and vitality of the denomination.
To read Heather Hahn’s news story about the challenge before the Council of Bishops, click HERE.