"Few will read what we write, but millions will watch what we do." – The Rev. Steven Lewis, Gresham United Methodist Church, on General Conference 2016.
General Conference debates
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — In a gathering that repeatedly stressed church unity despite passionately held differences, United Methodists received a preview of some of the issues General Conference will debate when the denomination's top lawmaking body meets this spring. The staff of United Methodist News Service reports.
Preview to debate on sexuality
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) ─ Many United Methodists expect the most intense debates at General Conference to be around how the denomination includes people of different sexual orientations. Participants at the recent pre-General Conference news briefing got a preview to the debate and a proposed alternative process for considering legislation. Heather Hahn and Kathy Gilbert report.
Judicial Council releases May docket
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Judicial Council will hold its spring meeting May 6-9 at the Oregon Convention Center, just before the 2016 General Conference, the denomination's top legislative body. A docket for the May meeting is available online. Briefs are due March 6.
Kabongo dies in North Katanga
KAMINA, Democratic Republic of Congo (UMNS) – The Rev. Boniface Kabongo, legal representative and assistant to North Katanga Episcopal Area Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda, died unexpectedly on Jan. 21 in Lubumbashi. United Methodists around the globe recalled his work and ministry. Betty Kazadi reports.
Veteran denominational writer dies
DALLAS (UMNS) – Denise Johnson Stovall, a longtime writer about The United Methodist Church, died Jan. 19, the Metro District of the North Texas Conference reported. Stovall, wife of the Rev. Charles Stovall, had considerable experience in secular media before joining the staff of The United Methodist Reporter. She also wrote for United Methodist News Service and United Methodist Women, and co-wrote church-related books. A memorial service will be held Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. CST, at St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in Dallas.
Richard Allen stamp to debut
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Postal Service will formally unveil the Richard Allen Black Heritage Stamp on Feb. 2. Allen, who was born a slave, founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816. Stephan Salisbury of Philly.com reports.
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, Feb. 1
Deadline for submissions to men's ministry contest –– The Commission on United Methodist Men is inviting submissions to the second annual U.S. contest for the most outstanding local church, district and conference ministries with men. Details
Wednesday, Feb. 3
Early-bird deadline for Congregational Care Ministry Seminar at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection — The event is Thursday-Sunday, April 7-9 for pastors and church staff looking to become congregational care ministers. The gathering will be at Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave., Leawood, Kansas. Topics include prayer, theology of care, boundaries, listening, visitation, death and grief, and organization. $140 until Feb. 3. Details