“I think in the short run there will be significant anxiety and negative reaction in many parts of the church. And there will be great celebration in other parts of the church. The election reflects an expression of the division we currently have over matters of human sexuality.” — Bishop Bruce Ough, Council of Bishops president, on the election of a gay United Methodist bishop.
Married lesbian consecrated United Methodist bishop
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (UMNS) — Bishop Karen Phyllis Oliveto received a standing ovation the first time she stood and faced a packed church as the newest bishop of the Western Jurisdiction. But many in The United Methodist Church are asking what the election of a married lesbian — despite the church’s ban on ordaining “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” — means for the future of the denomination. Kathy L. Gilbert reports.
New women bishops make history
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Even as bishop elections were ongoing, The United Methodist Church already was making history this year — electing the most women in any new class of bishops in this denomination or its predecessor bodies. All told, delegates elected seven women, four of whom are African American. Heather Hahn reports.
United Methodist Church elects 15 new bishops
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church elected 15 new bishops in jurisdictional conferences around the United States last week.
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Commentary: A time to save lives and do justice
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (UMNS) — The Rev. Larry Pickens reflects on how United Methodists and other people of faith can work to de-escalate violence and address racial justice issues.
Southeastern Jurisdiction plans missional initiative
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (UMNS) — Bishops in the Southeastern Jurisdiction are launching a missional initiative that will focus on the following: new forms of church beyond the walls; children and poverty, unity and human sexuality; making disciples; and finally structure, finance and the future church. The hope is that this work will help guide the human-sexuality commission that the Council of Bishops is forming. Southeastern Jurisdiction delegates, by voice vote, affirmed the initiative late July 14.
Evansville receives grant; honors Griffiths
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (UMNS) — The University of Evansville has received a grant of $545,107 to establish Open Table, a summer theology institute for high school youth. The funding is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s High School Youth Theology Institutes initiative. The University of Evansville also honored the Rev. Leslie Griffiths, superintendent minister at Wesley's Chapel in London and House of Lords member, with an honorary doctorate at this year’s graduation.
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Degree for Griffiths
Two new opportunities for church secretaries
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church’s finance agency and professional association for church secretaries are offering administrative workers new opportunities for continuing education and travel. One is an online certification class for the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries. The other is a discounted eight-day Holy Land tour beginning January 31, 2017, offered through Educational Opportunities.
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To learn more about online certification
To sign up for the Holy Land tour
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.
Wednesday-Friday, July 27-29
“Reimagining Incarceration and Re-entry” Conference — St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, at 5501 Main St., Houston, will host the conference about how communities can help individuals reintegrate after their release from prison. ProjectCURATE in partnership with Houston:revision is spearheading the conference. Details