Pastor's Perspective: Methodist Church conference will determine fate of LGBTQ inclusion

Update: United Methodist Church delegates Feb. 26 voted to strengthen a ban on gay clergy and same-sex marriages in a controversial decision that threatens to divide the church. The article below was written prior to the decision. Rev. McShane, among the church's progressive faction that supports LGBTQ inclusion, plans to write another column in the wake of this week's historic United Methodist conference in St. Louis.

This has not been a good news cycle for churches. The Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention have recently come into view as they struggle with how to hold their leaders to account for bad behavior. And in just a few days, the United Methodist Church will crowd its way into the headlines to air its own internal struggles.

Spiritual Life Brief

Meditation retreat set for March 9

Meditation teacher and author Shaila Catherine is scheduled to lead a mindfulness meditation mini retreat 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 9 in the Foothills Congregational Church Parish Hall, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos.

Sponsored by Insight Meditation South Bay, according to organizers, the retreat will provide a “rewarding and restful” day of mindfulness meditation where participants can experience for themselves the “inner joy, peace and insight that meditation can provide, and still be home in time for dinner.”

Spiritual Perspective: Baha'i faith prioritizes oneness of humanity

Jan. 18 marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Paris Peace Conference held at the end of World War I. The conference resulted in the establishment of the League of Nations, an organization intended by its founders to secure peace at the international level. This was the first of three historic moments in the past 100 years when real, lasting peace seemed within reach. But ultimately the League was not able to prevent a second world war.

The second significant step toward world peace followed World War II when the United Nations was established, a system of international economic institutions came into being, many territories under colonial rule became independent nations and historic advances were made relating to human rights and international law. But open hostility between the world’s two major powers brought humanity dangerously close to a conflict involving nuclear weapons.

Pastor's Perspective: A moment and a message in the aftermath of the synagogue tragedy

Oct. 28 was supposed to be a festival day in our congregation. The sanctuary had been decorated for the day. Two trumpet players were scheduled to play. Our talented organist, who had been on leave, was back. The bells would play and the choir sing. But as I put on my robes that morning, they felt oddly out of place – as if I should be vesting in black. Violence had struck again.

Spiritual Life Briefs - Week of Nov. 7


Renard

Event celebrates arrival of French pastor

The French Catholic community has scheduled a “Beaujolais Nouveau” wine and cheese event 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at St. Nicholas Hall, 473 Lincoln Ave., Los Altos.

Proceeds from the event will contribute to establishing the newly hired French-speaking priest in the parish, the Rev. Michel Renard. Renard arrived in August from France on a three-year visa through the Diocese of San Jose. Bishop Patrick McGrath nominated him as parochial vicar at St. Nicholas and St. William parishes and chaplain for the French-speaking community.

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