"For the spirit to move, I’m not sure how this body could do anything but have closed sessions, so that they could discern together and not have the constant pressure from different caucuses and groups." — George Howard, a 2016 General Conference delegate, on the Commission on a Way Forward.
"I’m sure when they offer their report, one of the first things somebody is going to say, from the left and the right, will be, ʽThey did this in secret,’ and they will question the validity of anything that comes out." — The Rev. Andy Langford, also speaking about the commission.
Closed meetings find support, criticism
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The Commission on a Way Forward, charged with helping the denomination avoid schism amid divisions over homosexuality, continues to meet behind closed doors. Some in the church say that’s needed for commissioners to build trust and candor. Others question whether the approach is wise or even permissible under church law. Sam Hodges reports.
Louisiana needs flood-recovery volunteers
BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) — United Methodists observing the first anniversary of devastating floods in Louisiana are looking for more volunteer teams to help the most vulnerable of the storm’s survivors get back on their feet. Linda Bloom has the story.
Blog: Lessons from a rural church
COLUMBIA, La. — The rural area where the Rev. Stephen Fife is a United Methodist pastor is struggling economically and in other ways. But he’s found much to appreciate there, and plenty to keep him busy. He writes in a recent blog post: “The best thing that I can do for people where I serve is continually reconnect them to Christ and to their community.”
2017 annual conference reports
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist News Service is posting all annual conference reports. New reports are Indiana and Tennessee.
Artistic witness can deepen young people's faith
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Young people in The United Methodist Church are being encouraged to deepen their faith by using artistic witness in the same creative tradition as prolific hymn writer Charles Wesley. The Conspiritor Collective, a new project of Young People’s Ministries, a unit of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, seeks to inspire new generations of artists to use the spiritual practice of artistic witness to share the Gospel and craft faith community revivals.
Read press release
University Senate commemorates 125th anniversary
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The University Senate, established as the oldest educational accrediting agency in the U.S., turns 125 this year. Since its founding, the University Senate has provided oversight for the requirements, fulfillment of those requirements and general operational health of the 118 schools, colleges, universities and theological schools affiliated with The United Methodist Church.
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have a United Methodist event to share, you can add it to the calendar with this submission form.
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Tuesday Tea with Melanie: Blessing Our Children in Meaningful Ways — 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. CDT. This webinar will discuss supporting children as the new school year begins. Kelly Duke, director of children and family ministries at Sierra Vista United Methodist Church in San Angelo, Texas; the Rev. Ed Stallworth, pastor at Inman United Methodist Church in Inman, South Carolina; and Charlie Ludden, associate director of Project Transformation, Oklahoma Conference, will be featured in this webinar from Discipleship Ministries. Details
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