“While many persons within The United Methodist Church disagree with the rule that says persons who are self-avowed, practicing homosexuals may not be ordained and may not be appointed as pastors, the rule is currently in effect.” — Great Plains Conference Bishop Scott Jones on a complaint against a lesbian pastor.
Lesbian pastor moves closer to church trial
TOPEKA, Kan. (UMNS) — The Rev. Cynthia Meyer moved a step closer to a church trial after she and Bishop Scott Jones failed to agree on a just resolution to the complaint that she is a “self-avowed, practicing” homosexual. One option the Great Plains Conference bishop offered Meyer was that her church could withdraw from the denomination and retain Meyer as pastor in a new denomination. Kathy L. Gilbert and Heather Hahn report.
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Train crash survivors find refuge in church
CHESTER, Pa. (UMNS) — Survivors of an April 3 Amtrak crash that killed two and injured 35 took refuge in Trainer United Methodist Church after the collision. “We must have had well over 300 people in the gym and adjoining rooms and some in the sanctuary,” the Rev. James Ford said. Emergency workers asked the pastor if passengers could stay in the church while they dealt with the injured. John Coleman reports for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Former football player, now evangelist, tackles disability
KUWADZANA, HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — Rolling his wheelchair toward the pulpit, Tawanda Mupingo stretched out his right hand to hold a microphone, while in the other hand he held a Bible. For centuries, many Africans have viewed disability as a curse. Mupingo is changing those perceptions. Taurai Emmanuel Maforo reports.
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Church transforms through apartment ministry
HOUSTON (UMNS) — Westbury United Methodist Church here found new life and a new ministry when its young associate pastor, the Rev. Hannah Terry, moved into a nearby apartment complex and began working with resettled refugees there. Faith & Leadership, a website of Duke Divinity School, has the story.
Texas Conference Bishop Janice Riggle Huie does a Q&A on the ministry. Read interview
Ordained ministry chair reflects on women clergy
VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (UMNS) — The Rev. Melinda “Mindy” McKonly, chair of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, plans to retire in June. In an interview with the conference’s John Coleman, she reflects on the changing circumstances of women clergy in The United Methodist Church. Her retirement comes as United Methodists celebrate the 60th anniversary of when the Methodist Church allowed clergywomen to receive full ordination.
7 practices of John Wesley that change hearts
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (UMNS) — “God’s spirit created such a holy discontent in John Wesley’s heart that he abandoned conventional modes of ministry and experimented with several innovative approaches,” writes the Rev. Roger Ross, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Springfield. In a commentary for the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, he shares Wesleyan practices than can help ministers today.
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.
Saturday, April 9
Bill Mallard Lay Theology Institute at Emory University's Candler School of Theology in Atlanta — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Ahead of the 2016 General Conference, the gathering will focus on “Holy Conferencing: From Wesley to 2016." Thomas W. Elliott Jr., assistant professor in the practice of practical theology, will speak to the role of the General Conference in key issues of the last century. Charlene Kammerer, retired bishop of the Western North Carolina and Virginia conferences, will respond. In the afternoon session, Anne Burkholder will discuss issues facing the 2016 General Conference, and Jack Meadors, retired bishop of the Mississippi Conference, will respond. $50; $25 for students. Details