An Austin Methodist church has joined 10 other Methodist churches across the country in temporarily halting wedding ceremonies until the denomination lifts its ban on same-sex marriages.


On Sept. 24, the First United Methodist Church in Austin congregation voted to temporarily stop wedding ceremonies, with 93 percent of the congregation voting in favor. First United Methodist Austin senior pastor Taylor Fuerst said he hoped the vote would have a unifying effect on his church.


“It communicates even more to our city that if you are in the LGBT community that you are not tolerated here, but embraced,” Fuerst said.


Congregations are not required to hold wedding ceremonies, and currently, the Methodist church bans same-sex unions from being performed by pastors or taking place at its churches.


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STUDY SAYS


Many countries favor specific religions


According to a new Pew Research Center study, 83 countries around the world favor a specific religion, either as an official, government-endorsed religion or by affording one religion preferential treatment over other faiths.


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GOOD BOOK?


“Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful” by Katie Davis Majors


When Katie Davis Majors moved to Uganda, accidentally founded a booming organization, and later became the mother of thirteen girls through the miracle of adoption, she determined to weave her life together with the people she desired to serve. But joy often gave way to sorrow as she invested her heart fully in walking alongside people in the grip of poverty, addiction, desperation, and disease. “Daring to Hope” is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible — the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary.


— Multnomah


THE WORD


Ecclesiastes: A book of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament whose author represents himself as King Solomon.


— ReligionStylebook.com


RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD


According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Romania is:


— Eastern Orthodox: 81.9 percent


— Protestant: 6.4 percent


— Roman Catholic: 4.3 percent


— Other: 0.9 percent


— None or atheist: 0.2 percent


— Unspecified: 6.3 percent


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