their careers or standing in the United Methodist Church, at least 164 clergy and six
congregations from Long Island to the Catskill Mountains and southern
Connecticut are vowing to marry same-sex couples.
We have the tendency to define adulthood, and even ourselves, by our employment and our ability to exist independently. But in our difficult economic situation, isn't it time to rely on our rich theology and redefine our notions of self?
When I held my first grandchild in my arms, my perception of time was transformed. I began to ponder what his life would be like. I reflected on how it would be shaped by our responses to the challenges we are facing today—global climate change, economic uncertainty, nanosecond technology and the eclipse of the American empire.
Some congregations are increasingly relying on search firms to fill pastoral vacancies. Minister Search, the first such firm, began in 2001. It didn’t have a single client the first year, but now it does searches for 30 to 50 pastoral positions annually. Another firm began in 2010 and has completed 753 placements. Ministerial search firms are particularly popular with independent congregations, which lack a denominational structure for finding candidates. Firms typically charge a congregation about one-third the annual compensation of the hired minister (Chicago Tribune, September 4).