Liberian is new Judicial Council president

For the first time, a member from outside the United States has been elected president of the United Methodist Judicial Council.

N. Oswald Tweh Sr., a lay member from Liberia, will lead the denomination’s top court for 2016-20.

Tweh was elected to an eight-year term on Judicial Council in 2012. The nine members of the new council, five of whom were elected on May 16, will take office at the conclusion of General Conference 2016.

Other officers for the new council, elected during a brief organizing meeting on May 19, are Ruben Reyes, a lay member from Manila, Philippines, as vice president, and the Rev. Luan-Vu Tran of Lakewood, California, as secretary.

Tweh, an attorney, holds law degrees from the University of Liberia and Harvard University. He has served as assistant professor at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia and was president of the Liberian National Bar Association from 2006 to 2008.

Reyes, elected May 16 for a second eight-year term, is a retired justice of the Philippines Supreme Court and former presiding justice of the Philippines Court of Appeals. Currently, he is lay leader of Central United Methodist Church in Manila.

Tran, a new council member, is the pastor of Lakewood (California) First United Methodist Church. He has served churches in southern California since 2002 and is a member of the California-Pacific Conference. His degrees include one from Harvard Law School.

Other clergy members of Judicial Council for 2016-20 are the Rev. Øyvind Helliesen, Norway Conference; the Rev. J. Kabamba Kiboko, Texas Conference, and the Rev. Dennis L. Blackwell, Greater New Jersey Conference.

Additional lay members are Beth Capen, New York Conference; Deanell Reece Tacha, Kansas Conference, and Lídia Romão Gulele of Mozambique South Conference.

Bloom is a United Methodist News Service multimedia reporter based in New York. Follow her at https://twitter.com/umcscribe or contact her at (615)742-5470 or [email protected].

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
General Conference
Bishop Warner H. Brown preaches at the opening worship for the United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. File photo by Maile Bradfield, UM News.

Ask The UMC: How are General Conference delegates chosen?

Every four years, delegates gather from all over the world to make decisions on behalf of the denomination. Learn more about these members of the church's highest legislative body.
General Conference
On Jan. 3, a 16-member group of United Methodist leaders offered a proposal that would preserve The United Methodist Church while allowing traditionalist-minded congregations to form a new denomination. UM News will host a panel discussion on the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation proposal at 9:30 a.m. EST on Jan. 13. Graphic by Laurens Glass, UM News.

Video archive: UM News interviews protocol developers

Leaders who helped develop a separation plan for The United Methodist Church answered questions about their proposal during a live event Jan. 13.
General Church
Delegates pause for prayer at the 2019 special General Conference in St. Louis. A group of 2020 General Conference delegates and other church leaders from Africa, Europe and the Philippines is proposing a new form of unity. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News.

Delegates offer proposal for church unity

United Methodist leaders from Africa, Europe and the Philippines are offering a “Christmas Covenant” and inviting others to sign on.