Kenyan United Methodists oppose allowing LGBT clergy, pray for church unity worldwide

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02/18/2019

During a recent prayer service here at the Kayole St. John’s United Methodist Church, more than a hundred worshippers followed Rev. Wilton Odongo, one of the church’s head pastors, as he led congregants in prayer. This prayer was addressing the unity of the church — specifically, the worldwide United Methodist Church. Later this month, a special session of the 2019 General Conference in St. Louis will renew its long-running debate over same-sex weddings and LGBTQ clergy. Several proposals under discussion would remove a rule in the church’s book of discipline that would prevent anyone who is a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” from serving as a minister. Here in East Africa’s heavyweight country, though, most say a resounding ‘no’ to such measures. “We are praying that God gives guidance to the delegates so that the result does not hurt the next generation,” said Odongo, who is also the district superintendent of Nairobi and the secretary to the Episcopal Office of the East Africa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

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