Daily Digest - May 6, 2020


"If we had a conscientious plan, other groups might be willing to follow our suggestions." — Bishop Robert Schnase, urging bishops to form a task force on financial sustainability.

NEWS AND FEATURES

Bishops look at financial sustainability
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UM News) — Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund that supports bishops' work was at risk of running out of money in four years. During their online meeting, bishops agreed to examine ways to prevent that. Heather Hahn reports.
Read story

Conference reports
Pandemic leads conferences to lay off, furlough staff

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The financial fallout of the pandemic is affecting United Methodist conferences. The Alabama-West Florida Conference plans to eliminate 14 conference and district positions and cut senior staff salaries. The Virginia Conference has laid off five employees and reduced two positions to part-time. The Greater New Jersey Conference is furloughing executive staff for three-quarters of a month and the rest of staff for half a month.
Read Alabama-West Florida Conference story
Read Virginia Conference story
Read message from Bishop Schol

Kentucky Conference
COVID-19 case quarantines campus ministry

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A female resident of the University of Kentucky Wesley Foundation has tested positive for COVID-19, and a dozen students in the dormitory are in quarantine for 14 days, staff said. The resident is experiencing symptoms but is not expected to need hospitalization.
Read story

World Methodist Council
Postponement for 2021 World Methodist Conference

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The next World Methodist Conference, originally scheduled for Aug. 18-21, 2021, in Gothenburg, Sweden, has been postponed to Aug. 10-14, 2022. The decision came after an evaluation of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on General Conference schedules of the council's member churches, including The United Methodist Church.
Read press release

PRESS RELEASES

Project Transformation
Summer youth program makes COVID-19 changes

DALLAS — Project Transformation, a nonprofit that uses college-age students to work with vulnerable youth, will not have in-person summer camps this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, virtual programming will be offered, along with food distribution. Urban United Methodist churches are principal locations for Project Transformation's work.
Read press release

COMMENTARIES

UM News includes in the Daily Digest various commentaries about issues in the denomination. The opinion pieces reflect a variety of viewpoints and are the opinions of the writers, not the UM News staff.

Baltimore-Washington Conference
Online communion 'sacramentally impossible'

WASHINGTON — Some United Methodist bishops have given permission for online communion while the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep many churches from meeting in person. But Ryan Danker, who teaches at Wesley Theological Seminary, writes that online communion is "sacramentally impossible from a United Methodist perspective."
Read commentary

Church Topics
10 reasons for online communion

DALLAS — The Rev. Owen Ross recalls how, as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Ecuador, he was desperate to experience communion. He gives his 10 reasons for why, in the current pandemic, online communion should be an option available to United Methodist churches. Ross is director of church development for the North Texas Conference.
Read commentary

RECENT HEADLINES

Pandemic tests church's justice commitments

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Thursday, May 21-Thursday, June 18

COVID-19 webinars: Pre-existing disparities exposed

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