Bishop Calls for Special UMCOR Offering


TO: All Clergy, Lay Leaders, & Administrative Council Leaders FROM: Thomas J. Bickerton, Resident Bishop RE: Hurricane Disaster Response Dear Friends, On Friday, October 12, I was involved in a meeting of the UMCOR Board of Directors in Atlanta, GA.  During that meeting, an UMCOR Unit Director began speaking about the urgent needs that have emerged around the recent round of hurricanes and typhoons that have taken place across the world.  In her report, she used the phrase, the “new normal.” ...

United Methodists, Episcopalians Perfect Full Communion Document


Photo courtesy of Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga. Pictured from left to right: Back row - The Rev. Mariclair Partee Carlsen, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson, Mr. Richard Mammana (staff), The Rt. Rev. David Rice, Rev. Dr. James Howell, the Rt. Rev. Dr. C. Franklin Brookhart, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer; Front row - Rev. Dr. Robert Williams, the Rev. Margaret Rose (staff), Rev. Dr. Kyle Tau (staff), Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Dr. Deirdre Good. For Immediate Release                      October 15, ...

Plan Approved for GC2019 Decision-Making


By Heather Hahn Oct. 8, 2018 | ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (UMNS) The 864 delegates to next year’s special General Conference face a large task and only a short time to do it. But whatever decisions the delegates make, the plan is for them to decide together — without the usual prologue of meeting in multiple legislative committees. The Commission on General Conference, the international group of clergy and laity who plan the big meeting, has set the number of legislative committees at one. And all...

#AmazingUMCHero (and NYAC member) Finds His Fit in Life’s Puzzle


Jackson Rogers, first row in blue cap, with Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton and members of the NYAC cabinet and staff during their late August mission trip to Puerto Rico. By Craig Flagg and Crystal Caviness* Jackson Rogers, whose home church is New Paltz (New York) United Methodist Church, is an #amazingUMChero. He just returned from a week in Puerto Rico with Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton and members of the NYAC cabinet. Jackson Rogers wasn’t in the market for a new bike when he felt drawn to stop ...

NYAC's Trapp selected as Worship & Music Director of GC 2019


NASHVILLE | The Commission on the General Conference is pleased to announce Raymond Trapp has been selected as the Worship and Music Director for the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference. In addition to his role at the 2019 event, Trapp was selected to serve in the same capacity for General Conference 2020, with responsibility for developing the overall worship and music programming and for providing musical leadership at both events. Trapp is director of music at Vanderveer Park ...

Court Docket Details Proposed Plans for UMC


By Linda Bloom, Kathy L. Gilbert and Vicki Brown July 18, 2018 | UMNS The first public details of proposed legislation setting out three proposals for resolving the denomination’s differences over homosexuality are included in the United Methodist Judicial Council’s October docket. The special 2019 General Conference — set for Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis — will attempt to find a way forward for The United Methodist Church by considering the three different plans included in the report developed by...

Bishops Seek Declaratory Decisions on 3 Plans Submitted to GC2019


WASHINGTON –  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the constitutionality of the petitions submitted by the Commission on a Way Forward to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. In an electronic vote on July 7, 2018, the bishops agreed to seek a ruling from the highest court in the denomination on whether proposed legislations known as the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan, and the Traditional ...

Bishops Amend What’s Heading to GC2019


The Commission on a Way Forward convened Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tenn. The commission is still working on possibilities for the denomination’s future. Photo by the Rev. Maidstone Mulenga. By Heather Hahn July 9, 2018 | UMNS The Council of Bishops has amended its call for the 2019 special General Conference. Under the new call, delegates to the denomination’s top lawmaking body will receive petitions from the 32-member Commission on a Way Forward — ...

How United Methodists Can Support Immigrant Families


By Ryan Dunn June 21, 2018 In recent weeks, people of faith have been shocked and moved by reports of immigrant parents and children separated after detention at the southern borders of the United States. Despite an order to stop the family separations, many concerns remain. Parents still might not know where their children are, nor when they will be reunited. In some cases, mothers were told their children were being taken for a bath, only to discover those children were taken to a separate ...

"That Look:" An Immigration Story by Bishop Bickerton


I will never forget that look.  It was our first Christmas Day with our new daughter.  Elizabeth was 11 months old and it was an exciting time to be a parent.  Her eyes lit up with packages all around her.  The breakfast casserole was in the oven and the coffee was tasting really good on that frigid winter morning.  That’s when the doorbell rang.  Who could it be interrupting our memorable day?   When I answered the door, standing in front of me was a young couple holding a baby wrapped up in a ...

SPSA Providing Sanctuary for Immigrant Mother


Debora Barrios and her children, Kener and Bereneice, sit inside the apartment created for them to be in sanctuary at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in Manhattan. (Photos by Cinthya Santos Briones) To read a message from Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton about responding to the immigration crisis as followers of Christ, click here. BY JOANNE S. UTLEY Earlier this month, the Church of St. Peter and St. Andrew United Methodist (SPSA) in Manhattan was asked to put into action a commitment they ...

AC18: Report of Lay Leader Roena Littlejohn



New NYAC Deaconesses Consecrated at UMW Assembly


By Tara Barnes “Called to Be What for God’s World?” was the theme of the deaconess consecration service May 18 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, part of Assembly 2018. Twenty-four women from 19 conferences were consecrated for a lifetime of lay servant ministry in relationship with The United Methodist Church. Debra DeMerritt, a member of Memorial UMC in White Plains, N.Y., is one of the new deaconesses. Deaconesses are laywomen who have responded to the call of God ...

Petition Submission for 2019 Special Session Begins June 6


Nashville, Tenn.: Petitions for the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church may be submitted to the petitions secretary beginning June 6, 2018 until July 8, 2018. On May 25, 2018, the Judicial Council ruled that petitions to the special General Conference 2019 "may be filed by any organization, clergy member and lay member of the United Methodist Church as long as the business proposed to be transacted in such petition is in harmony with the purpose stated ...

Court ruling spurs competing interpretations


By Heather Hahn and Sam Hodges May 29, 2018 | UMNS The Judicial Council has opened the way for the special General Conference to receive petitions from more than the Council of Bishops. The question remains: What sort of legislation can be submitted? The denomination’s top court, in Decision 1360, ruled that any United Methodist organization or individual can submit petitions “as long as the business proposed to be transacted in such petition is in harmony with the purpose stated in the call.” ...

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