Rev. Steve Heiss, pastor at Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Binghamton, N.Y., officiates at the July 2, 2002 commitment ceremony of his daughter, Nancy Heiss (blue dress) and Kim Willow (pink and white dress) in a field in Norwich, N.Y. Photo courtesy Steve Heiss

Ranks of defiant United Methodist clergy rise

(RNS) Almost daily, evidence mounts of defiant United Methodist clergy breaking church law on behalf of gays and lesbians as the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination struggles with what may be its most vexing rebellion in decades.

Seven years after officiating at the wedding of his gay son, the Rev. Frank Schaefer has been reinstated as a clergyman once and for all in the United Methodist Church. Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

Jurors weigh revoking clergy credentials for Methodist pastor

(RNS) A jury of United Methodist pastors began hearing testimony Tuesday (Nov. 19) that will help determine if the Rev. Frank Schaefer will lose his clergy credentials for breaking church law by officiating at the same-sex marriage of his son in 2007. Testimony in the penalty phase of the trial may continue Wednesday.

Paddlers make their way down the Hudson River on Sunday (July 28).  Over 200 Native and non-Native paddlers launch onto the Hudson River to travel from Albany, NY to the United Nations in New York City to honor and renew the Two Row Wampum treaty agreed upon in 1613. RNS photo by Brett Carlsen

Anniversary recalls water as sacred source of life

(RNS) European settlers once promised N.Y.’s Iroquois people they would respect the the laws of nature and the state’s waterways. On the 400th anniversary of that agreement, known as the Two Row Wampum, New Yorkers are recommitting themselves to better stewardship of a sacred treasure — water.