Daily Digest - May 13, 2016

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“The starting point of all transformation is to humbly and wholeheartedly submit myself to the wounded healer Jesus Christ and to unconditionally depend on him for the healing of the church.” — Bishop Christian Alsted in a sermon at General Conference 2016.



GC2016 delegates say no to Rule 44

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — General Conference delegates decided their relationship status with Rule 44: They just aren’t that into it. The final tally on the much-debated proposed Group Discernment Process was 355 yes and 477 no. Even getting to a simple up-or-down vote had its own ups and downs that took most of the morning. Heather Hahn reports.
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Alsted preaches unconditional reliance on Jesus

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Bishop Christian Alsted, of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area, challenged those attending General Conference 2016 to offer themselves humbly to Jesus' authority and "unconditionally depend on him for the healing of the church." Alsted, referencing the story of the Roman centurion whose faith Jesus praised, preached during the May 12 worship service. Sam Hodges reports..
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UMW Day: Water and witness

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Nearly 150 years later, members of United Methodist Women “are living out the same commitments as our predecessors” for spiritual growth, service and advocacy for women, children and youth, says Harriett Olson, UMW’s top executive. On May 16, highlights of UMW Day will include a commissioning, a rally on water rights and a seven-minute presentation on the floor of General Conference. Linda Bloom reports.
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500 faith leaders join with United Methodist clergy

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — A letter from 500 openly LGBTQ clergy, future pastors and faith leaders in a number of different denominations offered “much love and light” to the 111 United Methodist clergy and candidates who came out as gay on May 9.
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Read letter


Bishop Carter to have surgery

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter was set to undergo surgery for a severed tendon. He fell May 10 on stairs in the plenary hall of the Oregon Convention Center, just before the official opening of General Conference. Delegates received updates on his condition and were asked to pray for him and the surgery team. Sam Hodges reports.
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May 12 wrap-up: Rule 44 voted down

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Over the past three days, the United Methodist General Conference has offered a live demonstration of just how difficult following its rules of order can be. Delegates ultimately decided against a proposed Group Discernment Process that has dominated proceedings. In other news, one bishop “passes the gavel” and another will have to go under the knife after a nasty fall on Day One. Joey Butler has the story.
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Delegates welcome members of larger Methodist family

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — The United Methodist General Conference, meeting here at the Oregon Convention Center, greeted representatives of 23 churches in the larger Methodist family. The guests came from Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. Elliott Wright of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries has the story.
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Audio stories cover range of topics

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) – Audio podcasts at General Conference 2016 are just a click away. Hear a young Iowa delegate tell about the church’s role in her life, follow the Episcopal Address, learn about the role of the Daily Christian Advocate and get the latest on technology training for delegates.
Check them out


Interviews with United Methodist leaders

PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Casual conversations with United Methodist leaders about what is happening at General Conference 2016 can be found in the Digital Lounge. Check out interviews with Don Messer and Linda Bales Todd about the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, as well as interviews with various leaders on other topics.
Visit the lounge


Looking ahead

Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. If you have an item to share, email [email protected] and put Digest in the subject line.


Friday, May 13

An evening with Church and Society — 6:45-8:30 p.m. PDT, Portland Ballroom 201, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, Ore. The event features the father-daughter duo of Don Saliers and Emily Saliers, best known as one of the Indigo Girls, and conversations around music, justice and suffering. Purchase tickets online, at the Church and Society exhibit at General Conference, or at the door. Details  


Thursday, May 19
Commissioning of missionaries
8 p.m. PDT. Watch livestream video as 29 new United Methodist Board of Global Ministries missionaries are commissioned at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. This is believed to be the first time the blessing and sending of missionaries has been included in a General Conference worship service during a plenary session. Watch online

More upcoming United Methodist events

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