Briefly noted

October 30, 2007

Oral Roberts University, which made headlines 20 years ago when its namesake founder said God would “call him home” unless he raised $8 million, finds itself embroiled in controversy again. A lawsuit filed October 2 by three former professors at the charismatic Christian university in Tulsa alleges illegal political activity and lavish, unchecked spending by President Richard Roberts (Oral’s son) and his wife, Lindsay. Former professors John Swails, Tim Brooker and Paulita Brooker say they were all fired or forced to resign because of attempts by two of them to act as whistle-blowers. The university’s board of regents voted October 5 to hire an independent outside auditor to review the claims.

An associate pastor of a United Methodist congregation in Seattle disclosed her lesbian orientation at a recent Sunday service after notifying church officials, including Bishop Edward W. Paup. Kathleen Weber, 34, who shared her story September 30 at Blaine Memorial Church, a 700-member Asian-American congregation, had informed church officials through her district superintendent, Elaine Stanovsky. Weber has been on staff for four years and has been on track to be ordained next year, according to United Methodist News Service. Church law prohibits the appointment of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” as clergy. But Stanovsky said she is “not aware of anything” chargeable in Weber’s case.