The North American Division of the SDA Church said today that it was “encouraged” by the US Supreme Court’s ruling for Hobby Lobby. In the 5-4 decision, the Court decided that the for-profit, family-owned (“closely held”) corporation does not have to offer female employees all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, as the Affordable Health Care mandates.
Dwayne Leslie, director of legislative affairs at the General Conference, was one of a list of over 100 religious leaders who signed a letter this week asking US President Barack Obama for religious freedom protection in the executive order he plans to sign prohibiting federal contractors from considering sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring decisions.
The Mormon church has excommunicated the founder of a prominent women's group called Ordain Women, finding her guilty of apostasy (defined as "repeated and public advocacy of positions that oppose church teachings") in a disciplinary hearing last weekend.
Kate Kelly created the organization that advocates for women to join the priesthood in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The papers from the latest Theology of Ordination Study Committee meeting, held the first week of June, have now been published on the Adventist Archives website.
More details about the restructuring plan of the North American Adventist publishing houses have been set out in a Memorandum of Understanding between the General Conference and the North American Division, dated June 12, 2014.
For anyone who hasn't yet watched the film Seventh-Gay Adventists, now is your chance. Today the Seventh-Gay Adventists film has made it to iTunes (English-speaking territories) and is available on iTunes for $7.99. Producer Daneen Akers says the prices have intentionally been kept low to make sure anyone who wants to engage with these stories can.
The film, which follows three gay Adventist couples, has been shown in special screenings and film festivals around North America and further abroad for the past two years.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not the only church struggling with issues of sexuality and church doctrine. An article from Religion News Service reports that a group of 80 pastors from the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the US, says a split in the church is imminent.