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Bishop And Leaders Working To Circumvent UM Discipline To Appoint Openly Homosexual Pastors-Baptism To Become Platform For Homosexualizing Church

Excepts from article: Gay pastor considers future role in church By Marsha King Seattle Times staff reporter

...Some members of Woodland Park United Methodist Church are trying to find a way to hire back an openly gay pastor even though the bishop refuses to break church law and reappoint him.

...Tonight at the church, this idea and others will be debated in a closed-door meeting of regional Methodist officials, the congregation and Williams.

...The idea of the congregation hiring Williams is one idea that surfaced, said Bob Hoshibata, Seattle district superintendent.

..."Our task is to find a solution that's acceptable to all parties while still keeping in line with church law," Hoshibata said. "In extreme cases, churches who find they can no longer be United Methodist churches withdraw from the denomination. That's something we definitely don't want to happen."

...Does baptism give gays and lesbians the right to participate fully in church life? Should gay and lesbian clergy be ordained? Do same-sex unions deserve the church's blessing? All eyes are on the tiny church, Hoshibata said.

...Tonight's conversation is going to be tough and important "in determining if the congregation is really ready to go down the path of accepting all that goes with having an openly gay pastor," Williams said yesterday.

...Maggie Brown, the chairwoman of the staff parish-relations committee, believes a majority of parishioners want to figure out how to keep Williams.

...For now, church leaders are trying to find ways to keep Williams and Dammann employed in a way their gifts for ministry can be honored, Hoshibata said. Willliams remains in good standing and in his pulpit until July 1. That's when Dammann, also in good standing, will come off a family leave.

...After that, Galvan has placed the two pastors under the direct supervision of Hoshibata.

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