New England Conference Adopts 'Action of Non-Conformity' Resolution


The New England Annual Conference said it would not wait any longer for The United Methodist Church to change its position on homosexuality. Members voted 445/179 Friday afternoon to support the resolution titled “Action of Non-Conformity with the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. (This is the original not amended resolution).” There were 17 abstentions and two blank ballots. It states, in part, “The NEAC will not conform or comply with provisions of the Discipline which ...

New England, South Georgia differ on gay clergy


By Kathy L. Gilbert and Beth DiCocco June 16, 2016 | LAWRENCE, Mass. (UMNS) The New England Conference began with a gathering to remember the Orlando shooting victims that became a passionate conversation about the pain felt by many about the violence and the church’s stance on LGBTQ people. “Many people spoke, many came out, many disavowed the Discipline and the General Conference,” wrote the Rev. Will Green on his Facebook page about a two-hour, unplanned discussion. Pictures of the 49 ...

Understanding the Horrors of Solitary Cells


BY SHEILA PEIFFER | What do you think it would feel like to be in total isolation for 23 hours of each day for days and years on end? To be subjected to constant light and constant noise in a space that you can span with your arms? To be left with psychological scars so deep that you can never be in an elevator alone again?

Speaking up after Orlando shootings


NYAC Bishop Jane Allen Middleton, center,  joins in a march from The Church of The Village (COTV) to the Stonewall Inn on June 13 in a stand against hatred and bigotry prompted by the mass killings at a gay club in Orlando. Rev. Vicki Flippin marches alongside the bishop. The march followed a worship service at COTV. BY LINDA BLOOM AND SAM HODGES UMNS / With local reporting In the aftermath of the worst mass shooting incident in U.S. history, church leaders say United Methodists must speak up ...

A Message from the Bishop About the Orlando Massacre


Beloved Sisters and Brothers of the NYAC, How long oh Lord? How long? Yet another mass killing, this time the worst in American history, leaves us stunned and heart broken. This heinous act of terrorism which has taken the lives of 50 innocent persons and left 53 wounded, many critically, calls us to renewed prayers for an end to violence. Because this act was specifically directed at the LGBTI community we must especially renew our advocacy for justice for all. I call on all of us to ...

27 Ordained, Commissioned in "Historic" Service


Bishop Jane Allen Middleton, left, examines the candidates for commissioning as elders and deacons during the 217th session of the New York Annual Conference at Hofstra University. Photos by Stephanie Parsons BY JOANNE S. UTLEY Editor, The Vision     The New York Annual Conference commissioned or ordained 27 individuals on June 11 at Hofstra University in what Bishop Jane Allen Middleton called an “historic ordination service.” Five others were recognized as licensed local pastors, and one was...

Statement by Bishop Jane Allen Middleton Regarding a Request for a Ruling of Law


Beloved, During the clergy session of this 217th Session of the New York Annual Conference, I was requested to make a Decision of Law regarding certain proceedings and procedures of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.  I have decided to provide a response at this time.    The proceedings and procedures of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry are not subject to review by the powers and authorities granted to Bishops by our church’s Constitution.  Accordingly, it would be improper for...

Conferences react to ‘Way Forward’ on sexuality


By Kathy L. Gilbert June 7, 2016 | UMNS An agreement to let a commission appointed by the Council of Bishops study church law on sexuality is not an invitation to violate the denomination’s lawbook, Bishop Mike Lowry said during the annual session of the Central Texas Conference. “An Offering for a Way Forward,” approved by the 2016 United Methodist General Conference, put the debate on human sexuality on hold until the special commission appointed by the bishops can look at all the sections of...

A Letter from the Council of Bishops about GC2016


Reviving a tradition that is more than a century old, the United Methodist Council of Bishops sent a letter to the people of The United Methodist Church following the 2016 General Conference.

Preparation for Annual Conference #4


This message is the fourth in a series from Director of Connectional Ministries Matt Curry detailing what happens at annual conference. Here he focuses on the opportunities for worship.

GC2016 passes $604 million general church budget


By Heather Hahn May 20, 2016 | PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) Goodbye, historically low budget. Hello, slight increase. General Conference delegates on May 20 approved a general church budget of $604 million for 2017-2020. That represents a slight increase over the $603.1 million approved at the 2012 General Conference. It’s also an increase over the $599 million budget proposed to the 2016 General Conference delegates, which would have been The United Methodist Church’s lowest in 16 years and meant the...

GC2016 rejects divestment on fossil fuels


By Sam Hodges May 20, 2016 | PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) After prolonged, impassioned debate, General Conference 2016 chose not to add a fossil fuels investment screen for the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The question came down to divestment vs. engagement as the better way to use church investments in influencing energy companies to address climate change. Ultimately, delegates voted 630-101 against amending church law to call for screening out investments in fossil fuels ...

May 19 wrap-up: New missionaries, special GC costs


By Joey Butler May 19, 2016 | PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) A day after tabling potentially contentious legislation on human sexuality, General Conference 2016 moved through its calendar at a steady clip, possibly noticing that time to finish its task is running short. Though discussion on the difficult subject was avoided, that other difficult subject — money — had to be addressed. Would the “way forward” set the church financially backward? How much does the bishops’ plan cost? The bishops’ plan to ...

May 18 wrap-up: Sexuality dominates debate in unexpected ways


Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS. Activists support each other following a silent march through the May 18 plenary session of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. They are protesting what they believe is an attempt to silence LGBTQ voices. By Joey Butler May 18, 2016 | PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS) — Last week it was debating how to debate. Today, it was voting on whether to vote. A day of tension, frustration and confusion ended in a decision to “put a pin in it.” Delegates ...

Council of Bishops: An Offering for A Way Forward


Bishop Bruce R. Ough read a statement about sexuality and the church from the denomination's Council of Bishops on May 18 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS. Full statement read by Bishop Ough: Galatians 3:25-29 (NRSV) 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with ...

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