I had never heard of Fountain Hills AZ and I had to look it up on a map to find out where it is. It’s near Scottsdale AZ in Maricopa County known for its infamous Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.
Last week Fountain Hills became infamous for 8 local fundamentalist pastors and their decision to gang up on another local church and its pastor. The Revd David M Felton is the pastor of The Fountains, a United Methodist Church. The pastor and his flock are unashamedly Progressive Christians. It’s a successful congregation that shares space in its building with a Jewish synagogue and a Buddhist center. They also maintain a healthy relationship with the local Moslems, sponsoring events for dialogue. Needing more space for their ministries the congregation recently held a financial campaign which allowed them to pay off their debt and build the additional space they needed.
It’s perhaps this success and good reputation that has bred envy and jealousy amongst its Christian neighbors in Fountain Hills. The pastors of these other eight churches have embarked on a six week sermon series. The series is called “Progressive” Christianity: FACT or FICTION. Each week, from their own pulpit, the pastors will address a question in an area where they obviously believe Progressive Christianity fails.
More than a few pastors and religion writers have had a bit to say regarding the behavior of the “Gang of 8” and also weigh in with their own insight about Progressive Christianity. Here is a sampling;
above photo from The Fountains UMC website
photo insert from John Shore’s article on HuffPost Religion
posted by David Allen