The Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell, pastor Oneonta’s First United Methodist Church, this morning told her congregation she will continue to perform gay marriages, despite a church conference’s decision in February adopting a “Traditional Plan” that affirmed a ban against gay marriage and the ordination of gay clergy. Pastors, locally and throughout the Syracuse-based Upper New York Conference, were asked to brief their congregations this morning on the special conference decision. Swords-Horrell, who was assigned to Oneonta in July, called the decision “sad and disturbing,” since the local church has been a “reconciling congregation” for 30 years. “We feel it is restrictive, oppressive and makes our gay and LBGTQ members feel unwelcome,” she said. “We will continue with who we are, and accept all people.” Syracuse-based Bishop Mark Webb is planning a livestream Q&A session 4-6 p.m. next Sunday. “There’s still a chance it could be overturned,” Swords-Horrell said. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
UNADILLA – Walter E. Brooks, 84, a civic leader and owner of Brooks Machine Products, a custom-machined parts company here, passed away peacefully on April 17, 2018. His wife Edna, son Brad and Pastor (ret.) Kip Stratton were by his side.
Walt was born on Oct. 25, 1933, in Afton, son of (pre-deceased) Fay and Ruth (Decker) Brooks.
He served in the Air Force in 1952-56, during the Korean War, then joined GE, working in Shelbyville, Ind., and Cincinnati, Ohio.