NEWS AND FEATURES
Bishop Alsted says divisions no reason for church split
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area doesn't see the current debate over homosexuality as a reason for the church to split. He feels the church is able to continue God's mission, even amid disagreement. Alsted spoke with UM News as part of "Seeing a Way Forward," a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.
Seeing a Way Forward: Bishop Harvey
Filipino United Methodists respond after storms
CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines (UMNS) — Coming to terms with the massive devastation brought by Super Typhoon Mangkhut, United Methodists in the Philippines are organizing and mobilizing to provide assistance to disaster-stricken communities. Those affected by an earlier tropical storm also are receiving aid. Gladys Mangiduyos reports.
Struggling families find shelter in small tents
TIJUANA, Mexico (UMNS) — In a neighborhood known for drugs, prostitution and gritty bars, immigrants crossing into Mexico are finding safety in a nonprofit shelter. Members of Iglesia Metodista Nuevo Pacto in Playas de Tijuana, a congregation of the Methodist Church of Mexico, volunteer at the center. Kathy L. Gilbert has the story and Mike DuBose has the photos.
Young clergy still in short supply
DALLAS (UMNS) — Elders under age 35 continue to be rare in The United Methodist Church. And the number of young women elders has dropped for the past three years. Those are two findings of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership's 2018 clergy age trends study of the denomination. Sam Hodges reports.
Giving thanks in New Bern
NEW BERN, N.C. (UMNS) — Despite dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, Clarks United Methodist Church found reasons to celebrate and give thanks, including homecoming Sunday, a mortgage-burning ceremony and a visit by Bishop Hope Morgan Ward. Sam Hodges reports.
Accident puts family on 'sacred road of suffering'
Teams begin disaster response in South Carolina
African bishops support unity, traditional view of marriage
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (UMNS) — United Methodist African bishops unanimously reaffirmed their view that marriage is between one man and one woman and vowed to "maintain the unity" of The United Methodist Church. Phileas Jusu reports.
Read Council of Bishops press release
African bishops hear call to cross divides, unite Methodists
Leaders study placement of new African bishops
Learning how to 'Do No Harm'
CHICAGO (UMNS) — Investigating a complaint of sexual misconduct within the church is painful for all involved. That's why it’s crucial to follow a process that avoids inflicting secondary trauma and promotes healing, says Becky Posey Williams of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. The upcoming quadrennial "Do No Harm" event, set for Oct. 11-13 in San Antonio, is designed to help. Linda Bloom reports.
Survey: More preaching on abuse in #MeToo age
Camp in Congo helps kids grow in their faith
BUKAVU, Congo (UMNS) — After 6-year-old Raisa Muzungu memorized and recited in public the names of all 66 books of the Bible — a skill he learned during United Methodist summer camp — a youth coordinator was so impressed that he promised to pay the child's school fees for the 2018-19 academic year. The camp, organized by Young United Methodists of Kivu, helps children like Muzungu grow in their faith. Philippe Kituka Lolonga has the story.
Northern Illinois Conference
Bishop, United Methodists call for prayers, justice
CHICAGO — United Methodists were among more than 75 people gathered to worship and pray outside the Cook County Courts Building, calling for justice for Laquan McDonald as the murder trial of the police officer charged with shooting him entered its second week. Bishop Sally Dyck and United Methodist clergy and laity joined the Community Renewal Society at the Public Action in Worship event. The bishop also is calling for prayers for the city.
Read Bishop Dyck’s call for prayer
From Holston to Prague
PRAGUE — The Rev. Mark Hicks is preparing to become pastor of a small, English-speaking United Methodist church. He'll be the third Holston Conference pastor to lead the Czech Republic church, founded in 2011. "A lot of seeds have been sown, and now maybe it’s time for harvest," he says. Annette Spence reports.
Alabama-West Florida Conference
Bishop Graves: 'Let’s focus on ministry'
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Bishop David W. Graves is entering his third year as leader of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Mary Catherine Phillips talks to him about developing the conference's priorities and preparing for the special General Conference.
Board of Global Ministries
Don't reduce U.S. refugee admissions
ATLANTA — With more than 68 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, the U.S. government’s proposal to cut refugee admissions from a typical annual figure of 90,000 to 30,000 in 2019 — a new historic low — is immoral and "unacceptable from a humanitarian perspective," writes Thomas Kemper, top executive, United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. "We encourage United Methodists and others to oppose the current policy and to welcome sojourners from everywhere to everywhere."
The power of the United Methodist connection
BIRCH RUN, Mich. — When asked about his journey from Mexico to Michigan and ordained ministry, the Rev. Rey Mondragon says: “I remember a movie called ‘The French Connection.’ Well, for me, it was the Methodist Connection.” The Rev. Jack Harnish profiles the first Mexican-American elder in the former Detroit Conference.
Norway-Zimbabwe partnership aids rural education
RUSAPE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — A Chabadza partnership between Norwegian and Zimbabwean United Methodists is branching out to non-United Methodist entities. The latest endeavor is construction of a state-of-the-art library and computer laboratory at rural Nyamidzi Secondary School. Kudzai Chingwe has the story.
New England Conference
How to help following gas explosion
BOSTON — New England Conference leadership is in conversation around the needs of those affected by the Merrimack Valley gas explosion on Sept. 13. The conference received an emergency $10,000 grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief and put together a list of how United Methodists can help.
The United Methodist Church, The Vatican
Palliative care endorsed in joint statement
HOUSTON — The United Methodist Church and the Vatican have issued a joint declaration expressing support for palliative care near the end of life. The declaration was signed by Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones and a Vatican representative during a recent conference at Houston Methodist Hospital.
Read press release
Council of Bishops
2019 Local Initiative Grant recipients announced
WASHINGTON — Three United Methodist women are the 2019 recipients of the Local Initiative Grant for projects within conferences designed to strengthen ecumenical and/or interreligious relationships of The United Methodist Church.
Read press release
Young people adopt unity statement
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist youth and young adults attending the Global Young People's Convocation adopted a statement of unity declaring their love of the church, "the unity it offers and how it welcomes all people, regardless of who they are and what they do in life." The convocation's voting delegates also indicated which of the Commission on Way Forward plans they support. Delegates had the option of selecting more than one plan.
Read press release
Read unity statement
United Methodist News Service plans to include various commentaries about proposals for the future of the church in the Daily Digest over the coming months. The commentaries will reflect a variety of viewpoints and are the opinions of the writers, not the UMNS staff.
Bishop Carder: 'Why I changed my mind on homosexuality'
WHITE ROCK, S.C. — Retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth L. Carder was a General Conference delegate before getting elected to the episcopacy and voted to reaffirm and extend restrictive church law on homosexuality. In a blog post, he writes about what led him to the different views he holds today.
Read blog post
African delegates ready for GC2019
HARARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS) — A conference lay leader takes issue with the idea that African delegates need more information before GC2019. Simon Mafunda writes that delegates have Scripture, African culture and can read the Way Forward report.
I am United Methodist ... even though
INDIANAPOLIS — Bishop Julius C. Trimble, who leads the Indiana Conference, explains why he is United Methodist "even though every day is not sunny."
Peace in our time? Celebrating Korea's progress
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, a Korean native who leads the Wisconsin Conference, writes with hope for what's happening on the Korean peninsula and urges continued prayers for peace. "It is too simple to view all of this as political, social, military and economic without comprehending the spiritual dimensions as well," he writes.