Ask Alban: Searching without Dividing

Q: Our minister has announced his retirement. During his long ministry, we have avoided most of the conflict about homosexuality raging in our national church. How can we look for a minister without dividing our congregation?

A: Right now, several North American religious groups are sharply split about how and whether to accept gay clergy. If your denomination is divided, you understandably want to protect your congregation from following suit.

Over the years, your church may have welcomed some openly gay people warmly, even though some members consider their behavior unbiblical or wrong. As long as your minister stayed put, you could live with the inconsistency.

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