News

Court Docket Details Proposed Plans for UMC

7/18/2018

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

7/12/2018

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

7/9/2018

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

7/9/2018

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

6/22/2018

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

6/22/2018

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

6/9/2018

PATHWAYS AND POSSIBILITIES: TRANSFORMING THE WORLD


New NYAC Deaconesses Consecrated at UMW Assembly

6/6/2018

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

6/1/2018

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

5/29/2018

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.” ...


Bishops Respond to Judicial Council Decision 1360

5/25/2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  May 25, 2018                                               WASHINGTON, D.C. _ Here is the statement from the Council of Bishops, issued by COB President Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Area, in response to Decision 1360: Our Gratitude  We want to thank the Judicial Council for their service to the church through the affirmation of two key principles—the specific nature of the call for the special session, to receive and act...


Court OKs Submission of Other Petitions for GC2019

5/25/2018

By Linda Bloom May 25, 2018 | EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled that other petitions — in addition to legislation from the Council of Bishops — can be submitted for the 2019 special session of General Conference. Any organization, as well as clergy members and lay members, can file a petition for the 2019 special session of General Conference, which is devoted to working through a longstanding impasse over homosexuality. Those petitions must be “in harmony ...


Bishops Clarify Statement on Commission on A Way Forward Recommendation

5/18/2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  The Council of Bishops is issuing the following statement, written by the bishops who served on the Commission on a Way Forward, and approved by the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops this week.   The Council of Bishops has voted by an overwhelming majority to share the work done by the Commission on a Way Forward on the three plans and to recommend the One Church Plan.    The One Church Plan will be placed before the 2019 General Conference for legislative ...


Can Hearing Each Other’s Stories Begin to Bridge What Divides Us?

5/18/2018

A Reflection BY REV. THEA CRITES As an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church, my call is to bring my specialized skills as a pastoral psychotherapist to the church – and extend the reach of the church into “the world.” I was recently at a deacon’s retreat with Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton where our lively discussion led me to further reflections. The conversation turned to differences within the New York Conference and to the bishop’s call as peacemaker to minister to all its members – ...


UMC 50th: A 1968 Protest Vote to be Truly “United”

5/15/2018

Ethel R. Johnson, now a retired seminary professor, was a delegate from the New York East Conference to the 1968 Uniting Conference. She voted against the merger that created the United Methodist Church.


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