Methodist Church & LGBT Inclusion; Effects Of Heavy Rain On Crops; Tracking Bird Migration

May 01, 2019
 

In this April 19, 2019 file photo, a gay pride rainbow flag flies along with the U.S. flag in front of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kan. On Friday, April 26, 2019, the United Methodist Church's judicial council upheld the legality of major portions of a new plan that strengthens the denomination's bans on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBT pastors.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

After a recent decision by the Methodist church to uphold restrictions on LGBT clergy, we speak with ministers across Illinois about how their congregations are reacting. And, a new study finds excessive rainfall can be just as damaging to crops as drought. Plus, new research tracks bird migration by using the sightings of birdwatchers. 

Earlier this year leaders from the United Methodist Church made the decision to uphold restrictions on LGBT clergy and same sex marriage. The result is a deep divide between the desire to maintain traditional church rules and the desire to be welcoming and inclusive. The vote to pass what is being called “The Traditional Plan,” first took place in February in St. Louis, and just last week a special judicial council met in Evanston to uphold the plan. These statements of faith about the gay community are ones that impact over 12 million people across the world. That is the largest denomination of mainline Protestants.

We're joined by leaders from a number of United Methodist churches across Illinois. Pastor Sara Isbell is from the Bloomington Normal area. She was a delegate at the General Conference and preaches at Wesley United Methodist, the largest Methodist Church in Bloomington. Jennie Bertrand is the Pastor of Hope United Methodist, also in Bloomington. Jane Eesley is the Senior Pastor at Christ United Methodist in Rockford. And Reverend Chris Winkler is on the line with us from Barrington Church.

And -

It’s the first day of May and here in Urbana, it’s all showers and no flowers. In fact, we could see rain on and off for the next week. Although precipitation can be a nuisance for some, a successful farming season depends on it, especially if you’re aiming to get your corn knee high by the fourth of July. But, a new study from The University of Illinois has found that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Researchers say excessive rainfall can be just as damaging to crops as drought.

Evan DeLucia is one of the co-authors of this study. He is the director of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and the Environment at the University of Illinois. Joe Zumwalt also joins the conversation. He farms about 4,000 acres of corn and soybeans on the Mississippi River between Warsaw and Quincy. 

Plus - 

Citizen scientists track butterflies and planetary movements, but there are more than 400,000 birders around the world that are contributing to an incredibly successful citizen scientist project. New research by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology takes the sightings of tens of thousands of birdwatchers, and meshes that with satellite photos and wildlife data. The results are incredibly precise maps about specific bird species migration which can be used by everyone from farmers who are plowing their fields, to cities knowing when to dim their night lights.

Anders Gyllenhaal just wrote about this for the Washington Post. He’s a veteran journalist and he’s now running the website flyinglessons.us, where he writes about what we can learn from the avian world. He joins us as he's out birding on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.