“We cannot care for God’s people if we continue to trash the planet.” — The Rev. Pat Watkins, creation care missionary.
GC2016: Impact of climate change
NEW YORK (UMNS) — For many United Methodists, taking care of the planet is not just a matter of “going green.” As reflected in petitions to General Conference, the church is moving beyond the still-needed practices of recycling and household energy conservation to larger public policy issues related to global climate change. Linda Bloom reports.
Recruiting “earthkeepers” for creation care
MINNEAPOLIS (UMNS) — Almost every time the Rev. Pat Watkins introduces himself as a missionary for the care of God’s creation — an official designation through the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries— it piques people’s interest. Now Watkins, the Rev. Susan Mullin, a Minnesota Conference deacon, and Dan Joranko, a professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School, have conceived a program called “Earthkeepers” that aims to commission 500 people for creation care work within the next seven years. Christa Meland of the Minnesota Conference has the story.
Two viewpoints on sexuality and the church
Wesley chose people over policies
NEW YORK (UMNS) — John Wesley chose people over policies when he ordained bishops in America without church authority. The United Methodist Church in the 21st century needs to adopt that “profound emphasis on grace,” writes Dorothee Benz, a General Conference delegate who seeks full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church. She contends that immense damage has been done to countless young people who are taught that their lives are “incompatible with Christian teaching,” as the denomination’s law book says. Benz said that makes a mockery of Wesley’s admonition to “do no harm.”
Renewal agenda on sexuality, abortion
The WOODLANDS, Texas (UMNS) — The first of three major legislative priorities for the Renewal and Reform Coalition is to uphold biblical teachings on life, marriage and human sexuality, writes the Rev. Tom Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News. Lambrecht explains the proposals by the coalition, which represents evangelical concerns. He also writes about proposals the coalition opposes, including petitions that would make it a matter of conscience whether a pastor performs a same-sex wedding or a board approves a practicing homosexual as ordained clergy.
Churches transform old school into ministry center
ROSEDALE, Va. (UMNS) — When Elk Garden School closed after nearly 100 years, United Methodists did not end their longstanding relationship with the school’s impoverished community. In fact, United Methodists across the Holston Conference, with help from a United Methodist of Global Ministries grant, have transformed the school building into a center to provide myriad ministries. Annette Spence reports for the Holston Conference.
Watch GC2016 episcopal address
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Ohio West Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, on behalf of the Council of Bishops, will deliver the episcopal address at the 2016 General Conference in Portland. The sermon will be livestreamed at 11:30 a.m. EDT May 11. Palmer formerly was president of the Council of Bishops, which elected him to give the address. The event will be streamed live on gc2016.umc.org.
To learn more about General Conference
UMW offers climate justice study
NEW YORK — Earth Day is a time to reflect on how to become better stewards of God's earth and his people. United Methodist Women collaborated with environmental advocates to create three resource books, part of the 2016 Mission Studies line-up that will be featured at upcoming Mission u.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Digest in the subject line.
Monday, May 2
Deadline to register for United Methodist Global AIDS Fund gathering — The gathering, titled “AIDS is not over! … Global Issues and the Church,” will be from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT Monday, May 9 at Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda St., Portland, Oregon. Details