Some might remember the news about Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken. He is a former Presbyterian pastor of an Ohio congregation who faced a church trial by the presbytery for blessing same sex unions. The result was the losing of his position and his ministerial credentials. A higher church body overturned the decision but the pastor decided to leave the denomination.
But apparently he has now received a call from the United Church of Christ’s Southern Ohio Northern Kentucky Association to serve as a minister. This story is an example of how too many people are being driven out of the church. It's also a story of how the UCC is starting to become a refuge for such folks.
If one wanted to see how such trials get their start, what needs to happen for someone to become a target for a denomination, this piece by a conservative women's group in the Presbyterian Church is a good place to start. One denominational staff person attended a feminist theology conference in Boston and now the calls for "punishment" are coming forth.
Here's two blogs of interest. Outside the Box contains a number of thought provoking posts about the Christian faith from a person who is interested in seeking ordination in the UCC. Thanks go to Chuck Currie for pointing this site out. The other blog, Working Things Out, is from a fellow grad student and friend at SIU. He writes with depth and detail on a range of topics from Cornel West to process thought.