“We recognize the pain felt both by those advocating for and those opposing change. We also view the acts of nonconformity as a violation of our covenant and as divisive and disruptive.” — Pastoral letter from the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops.
“Change is inevitable, and this change has been too long in coming.” — Jim Braswell, member of Aley United Methodist, a rural Texas church that has voted to allow same-sex weddings.
New Southeastern bishops include historic first
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — United Methodist delegates made history July 13 by electing the denomination’s first African-American woman bishop for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Sharma Lewis (North Georgia Conference) was the first of five bishops elected, followed by David Graves (Holston), Leonard Fairley (North Carolina), R. Lawson Bryan (Alabama-West Florida) and Sue Haupert-Johnson (Florida). Delegates are electing 15 bishops at five U.S. jurisdictional conferences this week.
North Central elects three bishops
PEORIA, Ill. (UMNS) — Delegates to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference elected three of four new bishops on the conference’s first day. The Revs. Tracy Smith Malone (Northern Illinois) and Frank Beard (Indiana Conference) were elected on the sixth ballot, followed by the Rev. David Bard (Minnesota) on the 10th ballot.
Tracy Smith Malone
Moore-Koikoi elected bishop in Northeastern
LANCASTER, Pa. (UMNS) — The Rev. Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Baltimore-Washington Conference was elected as a bishop in The United Methodist Church on the 11th ballot of the 2016 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. The jurisdiction has one more bishop to elect and continues voting on July 14. Melissa Lauber and Erik Alsgaard report.
Southeastern bishops decry ‘nonconformity’ plans
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Bishops in the U.S. Southeast denounced as “divisive and disruptive” some conferences’ public refusal to conform with church restrictions related to LGBTQ individuals. The bishops released the letter on the evening of July 12, the night before United Methodist bishop elections begin in all five U.S. jurisdictions. Three of the U.S. bishop candidates are openly gay. Heather Hahn reports.
Rural Texas church votes for same-sex weddings
SEVEN POINTS, Texas (UMNS) — In many ways, Aley United Methodist Church fits the small, rural Texas church stereotype. But it has voted overwhelmingly to back its longtime pastor in his vow to conduct same-sex weddings in the church sanctuary – acts that would violate United Methodist Church law. Sam Hodges has the story.
A Kentucky tradition
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — After 20 years as an active bishop, Lindsey Davis is retiring. But like his Kentucky predecessors, he is passing the torch to the next generation — he is the passing a collection of extremely rare books that has been handed down among bishops from the Kentucky Conference, which has the story.
Women in history grant recipients named
MADISON, N.J. (UMNS) — The 2016 recipients of the Women in United Methodist History Research Grant are the Rev. Paul Chilcote for his proposal “The Methodist Defense of Women in Ministry: A Documentary History” and Ashley Boggan Dreff for her proposal “A History of American Marriage: A Methodist Case Study.” Administered by the Commission on Archives and History, the grant provides seed money for research projects related to women in The United Methodist Church.
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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.
Thursday-Friday, July 21-22
Young Preachers Festival and Conference — The gathering will be at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, Kansas. United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry is helping to organize the event for seminarians, declared candidates for ministry and young clergy to cultivate their preaching skills. $79. Details