About this blog: Discussing religion, spirituality and values. About the writers: Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. Janet Marshall is the religion editor for The Free Lance-Star.
Party will honor ‘America’s pastor’
NEW YORK—A major celebration is planned next month for the 95th birthday of the Rev. Billy Graham.
Graham’s son says between about 700 people have been invited to the Nov. 7 party in Asheville, North Carolina. The Rev. Franklin Graham says the invitees include President Bill Clinton, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and real estate mogul Donald Trump. The elder Graham will attend, but won’t give a speech.
Known as “America’s pastor,” Billy Graham rarely leaves his home. Franklin says his father has round-the-clock care, but still thinks and speaks clearly. On the 95th birthday, the ministry will release a new video of Graham as part of a nationwide religious outreach called “My Hope America.”
Retired bishop to bless gay wedding
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—A retired United Methodist bishop from Tennessee says he will perform a wedding service for two men in Alabama despite opposition from the presiding bishop, who says the ceremony will violate church law.
Bishop Melvin Talbert said said he was contacted be longtime partners Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince after they learned they could not be married in the church where they are acitve members.
While Alabama does not recognize same-sex marriage, Openshaw says he and his partner were married legally in Washington, D.C., last month. He and Prince want to have a church ceremony at home in Alabama for their family and friends.
During their last national meeting in 2012, Methodists upheld the denomination’s policy that same-sex relationships conflict with Christian teaching.
Worship song wins additional awards
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Matt Redman and his Grammy Award winning song “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord, O My Soul)” have come up big winners again at the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Awards.
Redman received the Dove for Songwriter of the Year, plus a best performance award and best song awards in the contemporary/pop and praise and worship categories.
Accepting the honors for Redman, who was in Europe, were the Rev. Louie Giglio and singer-producer Eddie DeGarmo, who said “10,000 Reasons” was a song written “for the entire world.”
Giglio said Redman wouldn’t want to be honored, except by having his hymn sung in worship.
Other top winners included Chris Tomlin, Tasha Cobbs and Jason Crabb.