Religion Briefs

St. Paul’s to host final ‘Family Sunday School’

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will host its final monthly “Family Sunday School” from 9 to 10 a.m. Sunday at the church, 2611 Junction Creek Road. May’s theme is “Creation. ... It is good.”

For more information, call 247-0357.

Pastor’s bisexuality nixes softball team

ST. LOUIS – The new pastor at St. John United Church of Christ in the eastern Missouri town of St. Clair doesn’t play softball, but members of his church do. Or at least they did until their pastor’s sexuality prompted a boycott within their church league.

The Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell is bisexual. When pastors at three of the churches in the league found out, they decided their teams wouldn’t take the field against the team from Darnell’s church, saying the pastor’s lifestyle goes against their Christian beliefs.

St. John players decided to quit the six-team league rather than ruin things for everyone else.

“It certainly is very upsetting, especially in 2012, that this is an issue,” Darnell said this week. “It’s very disappointing but quite frankly not too surprising given the nature of this community – it’s a pretty conservative area.”

The Rev. Johnny Dover of Friendship Baptist Church, the Rev. Wyatt Otten of Liberty Baptist Church and the Rev. Ben Kingston of Bethel Baptist in nearby Lonedell decided they wouldn’t participate in games against St. John. They informed the church earlier this month, just before the softball season began.

Herald Staff and Associated Press