October 23, 2013

"The board's decision was taken in light of actions taken in states where same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships are now the law of the land. Our board has sought with this action to make policy decisions that stay in conformity with both civil and church law. We look forward to the Judicial Council's guidance on this matter." - Bishop Michael J. Coyner, president of the finance agency board.

Finance agency extends benefits to same-sex couples

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - General agencies of The United Methodist Church will extend employee benefits to same-sex couples, under a decision by the board of directors of the denomination's General Council on Finance and Administration. The board on Oct. 21 also voted to seek a ruling from the Judicial Council, the denomination's top court, to make sure the change is in keeping with church law.
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Bishop urges prayer, action after school shooting

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (UMNS) - "Once again, a gun has ended up in a school with deadly consequences," writes Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. of the California-Nevada Annual (regional) Conference. Brown was referring to the shooting Oct. 22 at a Sparks, Nev., middle school that resulted in the death of a teacher and injuries to students as well as the death of the shooter, also a student. "Join me in prayer for Pastor Gary Pope-Sears and the faithful people of Sparks United Methodist Church, and other faith communities, as they minister to the people of Sparks during this difficult time."
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Responding to violence

Pastor celebrates October in pink

BROWNFIELD, Texas (UMNS) - On Sunday mornings in October, Ruby Moultrie is behind the pulpit giving sermons in a pink stole at First United Methodist Church in Brownfield, reports Lubbockonline.com. In 1996, Moultrie was told she had breast cancer. A follow-up found the diagnosis false. About 15 years later, she was diagnosed again - this time it was positive. But Moultrie doesn't see her diagnosis as a burden. She sees it as a blessing.
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7 practices for best church volunteers

ATLANTA (UMNS) - "I don't know where I would be without a man named Lenis Black," writes leadership consultant Brian Dodd in The Christian Post. Black was a volunteer at Acworth United Methodist Church in Acworth, Ga., and Dodd's first Sunday school teacher. Remembering Black prompted Dodd to identify the seven practices of the best church volunteers.
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Michigan church makes food favorite to keep the church warm

MIDLAND, Mich. (UMNS) - When parishioners at LaPorte United Methodist Church in Freeland looked for ways to raise money for the general fund to keep the church warm this winter, they remembered a time-honored Michigan favorite. The Midland Daily News reports that some 600 pasties - meat pies encased in pastry - were made and sold by church volunteers Wednesday through Friday the week of Oct. 13. Read how this congregation found a forgotten recipe and organized the assembly line.
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