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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Many church leaders and parishioners in the Valley are disagreeing with a decision recently made by the United Methodist Church. 

The decision by the General Conference in St. Louis not only continues the ban on gay people serving in leadership roles in the church and on same-sex marriages, but also goes a step further; clergy could be suspended without pay for performing same-sex weddings, and be defrocked if they do it a second time.

"It was very difficult; it was also very painful," said Stephen Govett, the pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Phoenix.

He said their hearts are broken.

"Gay, straight, rich, poor, native-born or immigrant, we are here for all people," he said.

Govett was one of the pastors who fought for marriage equality in Arizona.

"I will continue to be open to marriages of people of faith regardless, and we are told we are not to stop what we are doing, being in ministry and mission to all people," Govett said.

Govett isn't the only one who feels this way.

All the bishops in the entire Western Conference are disagreeing with this decision.

Still, Bishop Bob Hoshibata, who oversees the Desert Southwest Conference, said in a subsequent video that the five bishops in the West declared they're not going to leave the Methodist Church.

Govett said he doesn't know what this means for the future, but he believes their diversity is part of their strength. 

"We really don't know what is going to happen," Govett said. "I can only say what I am called to, and I am called to remain faithful."

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.
 
 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(11) comments

JustinP

Why can't they just split off and form their own brand of religion. They can then change the Bible to suit their needs. In 20 years, they will have subverted the methodist religion (as it will just be a religion then and not a faith since the Bible will not be considered the inerrent Word of God) if they allow them to stick around.

Dean

It is shocking about how many so called Christians support homosexual activity and the murder of unborn babies and other sins. These leaders have been warned in the Bible that their punishment will be so much more for leading his flock astray.

MyOwnMind

So long as the priests continue to have access, we're cool. Right?

Webo

The catholic church is wrong and shouldn't ever be used as an example of what the Bible teaches. Actually, what the catholic church teaches is heresy. Here are just a few of their unbiblical and false doctrines.

That Peter was the "first pope", that priests(or pastors) can't marry, salvation by works, the veneration(or worship, same thing) of Mary, that Mary is the queen of heaven, and the list goes on. None of these doctrines are in the Bible.

So no, the priests should have access to anything, including leading a church.

LizardMan

And while we are at it, lets ban football and wearing jeans as both are forbidden by the bible as well.

Webo

I commend the United Methodist Church for standing by the word of God. It doesn't change to the whims of fickle, sinful humans. If a person has a problem obeying God's laws and commands then it so be it, but don't go trying to change God's word to fit your beliefs.

MyOwnMind

Then why are you?

Webo

Explain to me how I have changed scripture.

Read the Book of Romans Chapter 1 verses 18-32. There you will find what God says about sin and the topic being discussed.

I tried to explain some of the verses but the thought police at AZFamily considered the Bible verses spam. You'll just have to read it yourself. I pray that God will give you a clear understand of the passage.

mj

can you just hear the uproar over a gay man running for president'will the churches encourage their voters not to vote them in office.yet church groups had no problem voting in a man who is a con artist and user of women.

Dean

You are speaking of Bill Clinton of course mj. And of course Hillary who invested illegally and murdered our ambassador in Benghazi.

MyOwnMind

women aren't good for anything these days so who really cares.

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