The Villager Voice

Some wider church news this morning; one you may have seen, one you probably have not.

Earlier this week, the United Methodist Church voted to reverse its ban on LGBTQ clergy and to permit its clergy to officiate at same-gender marriages.  The vote was overwhelming:  delegates voted 692 to 51 to make the changes in denominational policy.  In the long run-up to the decision (it had been postponed earlier due to the pandemic), roughly a quarter of UMC congregations left the denomination, mostly conservative churches from the south, in anticipation of the vote, which considerably reduced the acrimony present in earlier discussions.  The favorable decision was also aided by the church’s recent regional realignment, meaning decisions reached in the North American church are not binding on Methodist churches in other regions of the globe.  But as the second largest Protestant denomination in the US, the UMC’s decision will have wide ramifications for the American church as a whole.

Closer to our denominational home, the United Church of Christ issued a statement this week regarding the protests rocking American universities over the complicated issues occasioned by the war in Gaza, Palestinian rights and antisemitism.  It reads, in part, “Amid the current wave of campus activism and ongoing demonstrations, we insist upon respect for the Constitutional right of free speech, encourage opportunities for the free exchange of ideas and open debate, support non-violent means to express opposition to policies and practices, abhor instances of real hate speech and violence, and counsel restraint by authorities.”  For my part, I would have preferred a louder voice against antisemitism, but to the extent that the protests spur serious conversation rather than easily chanted slogans, I concur with the general outline of the UCC’s statement.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy this packed holiday weekend:  Chester’s own Conn-Ducky Derby, one of Rotary’s major fund-raisers, takes place Saturday; tomorrow’s Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you…); and Sunday’s Cinco de Mayo… do you think our Deacons will be offering tequila and tortillas for communion this week?  Only one way to find out – see you Sunday!

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United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412. (860) 526-2697


From the North: Take CT Route 9 South to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn left; we are 1 mile on the right.


From the South: Take CT Route 9 North to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn Right; we are .8 miles on the right.

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Tuesday - Friday 9-1


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Wednesday  - Friday



Mailing Address:  

Post Office Box 383, Chester, CT 06412


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29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412





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