This week will be very important in ongoing efforts of mainline denominations to determine the appropriate response to gay Christians within their family.

The Episcopal Church will be having its national convention at which issues relating to the ability of congregations to bless same-sex unions and of regions to elect gay bishops will be debated. Depending on the results of votes, this convention could result in decisions that lead to either a split within that denomination of their possible expulsion from the worldwide Anglican fellowship.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) will alse be making a decision this week that could effect whether individual churches can select openly gay ministers.

And the upcoming United Methodist Church convention in 2008 will also continue its long debate over homosexuality within the church, including a recommendation from Minnesota that same-sex marriages be allowed.

USA Today has a nice synopsis of the issues up for vote.

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