There are times when I'm not incredibly proud to be known as a Methodist.
The reason for this is one affecting most of the mainline Protestant denominations anymore. Theology and action twisting apart traditional biblical values seem to rule the day.
Case in point: There is a UMC pastor in Maryland who used to be a woman, and the change was made during this person's time as pastor.
It goes without saying, but I find this to be an incredible faux pas for church leadership. And yet, the regional leadership there found there to be nothing contradictory with church rules in appointing him/her to another term as pastor.
I should note that the majority of the UMC does not think like this. As with the Episcopal church, the majority of faithful members and leaders don't agree with decisions like this. The aberrations, however, make for much better headlines.
My pastor has discussed this with me before. I figure he'd be in a good position to offer an opinion on matters like this, knowing something about church structure and authority. His theory on how we ended up in this place is interesting. Since the 70s or so, the trend has been that conservative leaders spend their time and energy serving their local congregations, while the more liberal leaders focus on politicking and gaining broader positions of power. Eventually, one mindset took to important leadership positions nationally, including at the seminaries, while the other found itself on the outside looking in.
This makes some sense, and does a decent job of explaining the current situation. I can't say whether his theory is right, but he'd be in a better position to say.
This story about Reverend "Drew" makes me sad, but don't think it indicative of the entire UMC.