“Like the first disciples, some of us may have come to this meeting of Jesus’ people we call General Conference with some mixture of hope and uncertainty. ” — San Francisco Area Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. at General Conference 2016 opening worship.
General Conference 2016 officially begins
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Joining in a cacophony of “alleluias” in many languages, 864 United Methodist delegates gathered May 10 at the Oregon Convention Center for the 2016 General Conference. In his opening sermon, San Francisco Area Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. challenged the assembly to remember Paul’s words to the Romans to “build each other up.” Barbara Dunlap-Berg reports.
Plan UMC Revised still partly unconstitutional
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — One of the proposed plans to re-align the structure of The United Methodist Church will need yet another revision if the denomination’s top legislative body decides to adopt it. In a May 9 ruling, the United Methodist Judicial Council declared, “Plan UMC Revised contains components that fail the test of constitutionality and components that are, as stated, entirely constitutional.” The decision was one of eight issued after the top court’s May 6-9 spring meeting. Linda Bloom has the story.
Plan UMC’s fate still up to GC2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Petitions before the United Methodist top lawmaking body would eliminate three general commissions. The denomination’s top court ruled such changes as constitutional, so delegates must decide if those changes are desirable. Heather Hahn reports on the debate.
Grassroots group declares lesbian ordained
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Susan Laurie, 21 years after answering God’s call to ministry, was unofficially ordained as a United Methodist pastor by a grassroots group of LGBTQ people and supporters inside the Oregon Convention Center. This ceremony is not officially recognized. The United Methodist Church does not allow “self-avowed practicing” homosexuals to be ordained. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story.
African delegates worry about ʽdigital divide’ at GC2016
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — At General Conference 2016, delegates wanting to be recognized to raise a parliamentary point or make a motion during a plenary session are supposed to ask for recognition by using a tablet computer. Some African delegates say their lack of experience with the technology could put them at a disadvantage. Sam Hodges reports.
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Committee backs plan for 5 new African bishops in 2020
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Despite pressure to speed up the process, a standing legislative committee of The United Methodist Church on May 9 reconfirmed its plan to recommend five new bishops for Africa four years from now. Elliott Wright reports.
Women delegates urged to make their voices heard
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Women delegates were urged to make their voices heard at General Conference. The Commission on the Status and Role of Women and United Methodist Women held briefings before the denomination’s top legislative assembly began. Tara Barnes and Yvette Moore report for COSROW and UMW.
National Geographic features ‘A Future with Hope’
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (UMNS) — A National Geographic story on how Atlantic City is dealing with climate change refers to the work of “A Future with Hope,” a project of the Greater New Jersey Conference that helps with recovery from Superstorm Sandy.
May 10 wrap-up: Opening worship, rules debate
PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — With a drum welcome from indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, United Methodists gathered for the opening worship of 2016 General Conference, the top legislative body of the denomination. Meeting May 10-20, the 864 delegates will consider 1,000 petitions affecting the 12.3 million-member denomination.
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, May 12
Climate vigil, 7:30 p.m. PDT, Oregon Convention Plaza — United Methodists will light up the night with lanterns at a climate vigil before General Conference 2016. The Pacific Northwest Conference is hosting the vigil. Details.