ST. PAUL (AP) -- An Evangelical Lutheran Church bishop has lifted the penalties against a congregation that broke with policy by ordaining an actively lesbian pastor.
The national church's rule against gay and lesbian pastors still stands, Bishop Peter Rogness said, but discussion of the issue "would be better served by striking a more reconciling posture." The denomination is currently re-examining its policy.
Rogness' predecessor went after the St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church because it installed Anita Hill as a pastor in April 2001, five years after it had blessed her relationship with a woman.
Hill said the congregation, which considers the Lutheran homosexual policy "unjust and restrictive," hopes Rogness' step "will be seen as a helpful move in the discussion for our whole denomination."
The penalties barred pastors and members of the congregation from filling various positions in the regional synod.
Billy Graham announces another appearance, in Oklahoma City
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Rev. Billy Graham's office said Tuesday he will hold revival meetings June 12-15 in downtown Oklahoma City.
Two weeks ago, Graham announced meetings for May 8-11 in San Diego.
In the past, the 84-year-old Graham scheduled events a year ahead to allow advance planning -- some 15,000 volunteers must be organized -- but his health is unpredictable due to Parkinson's disease and other ailments.
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