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Human Sexuality
Ms. Penny Cost is the drag persona of Isaac Simmons, the first openly queer man to be certified as a candidate for ordination within the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of The United Methodist Church. Simmons serves as project and remote learning coordinator for Hope United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Ill. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Ministry candidate preaches in drag to ‘speak in a new way’

Isaac Simmons came upon the idea of merging drag and spirituality through the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. "He thought the best way to enact systemic change was through joy and carnival … and drag is over the top and joyous."
Bishops
Bishop Yeakel, who came to the UMC from the EUB tradition and lead what is now Discipleship Ministries during the union that formed The United Methodist Church, died July 4 at age 93. Yeakel was a bishop of the Syracuse and Washington D.C. areas. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Bishop Yeakel, caring leader, dies at 93

Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel helped in the formation of The United Methodist Church in the 1968 and later served in a variety of leadership roles, including Council of Bishops president.
General Agencies
During a June 25 online meeting, the General Council on Finance and Administration board voted to update local-church statistical forms to include the option of non-binary under the category of gender. This change only affects the U.S. Excerpt of the current church statistical form highlighted for emphasis by UM News.

Church to start counting non-binary members

The board of The United Methodist Church’s finance agency approved adding the term “non-binary” alongside “male” and “female” on church statistical forms. The change only affects U.S. congregations.