UMC Believes In Welcoming, Not Exiting


When I was a boy my eyes would always light up when my Mom let me buy a “connect the dots” book from the store.  The books would usually start off with easy puzzles, ones where you could almost see the final product before you ever got started.  But with each passing page, the dots would get more in number and the pictures didn’t reveal themselves until the very end.  With every number identified and every line drawn, the picture would get clearer and more recognizable. I really enjoyed “...

May is Mental Health Awareness Month


by Rev. Leo Yates, Jr. May is known for many observances, but it is also known for Mental Health Awareness Month. In our churches, we often feed the souls of our congregants and visitors, which includes speaking to the whole person: mind, body, and spirit, and this month can reach all of these. A Huffington Post article from August 2015 lists some eye-opening statistics on mental illness:   Half of all adults will suffer from mental illness in their lifetime. Half of all chronic mental ...

Bishops back special Sunday for migration crisis


By Sam Hodges May 4, 2017 | DALLAS (UMNS) The United Methodist Council of Bishops has backed designating a Sunday later this year for prayers about the global migration crisis and for collecting a special offering to address suffering caused by forced migration. The bishops, meeting May 4, also received an update on efforts toward achieving full communion between The United Methodist Church and Episcopal Church. A handful of reports were accepted in the next-to-last-day of the council’s Dallas ...

NYAC Woman One of 17 New GBGM Missionaries


By Elliot Wright and Ivy Couch* Seventeen new United Methodist missionaries will be blessed on May 8, 2017 by leaders of the church’s worldwide mission agency in preparation for being formally commissioned (sent) at regional church conferences in the late spring and early summer. Quest J. Hunter, who grew up in the Vanderveer Park UMC in Brooklyn, will be commissioned as a community engagement missionary during the New York Annual Conference next month. The blessing, which will include a ...

Ruling greeted with confusion, hope


By Kathy L. Gilbert April 30, 2017 | UMNS At the end of the day, Bishop Karen Oliveto remains bishop of the Mountain Sky Conference even after The United Methodist Church’s top court ruled consecrating a gay bishop violates church law. Judicial Council said in Decision 1341 the bishop would still be in “good standing” until an administrative or judicial process is completed. “It has been a very stressful time of waiting — waiting for clarity. And I’m very excited that I get to continue to do ...

Statement from Bishop Bickerton on Judicial Council Rulings


I, like many of you, read with prayerful concern yesterday the decisions of the United Methodist Judicial Council regarding the status of Bishop Karen Oliveto (Decision 1341) as well as the Bishop’s Decision of Law in the New York Annual Conference (Decision 1343).  The Judicial Council ruled that Bishop Oliveto remains a bishop in good standing although her consecration violated church law.  In making this decision, the Judicial Council ruled that they did not have the power under church law ...

Consecration of gay bishop against church law


The consecration of a gay bishop violates church law, the top court of The United Methodist Church has ruled. However, the bishop “remains in good standing,” the Judicial Council said in Decision 1341, until an administrative or judicial process is completed.

President of the Council of Bishops: Statement regarding Judicial Council decision 1341


United Methodist Council of Bishops April 28, 2017 TO:  All United Methodists FROM:  Bishop Bruce R. Ough, President Council of Bishops RE:  Judicial Council Decision Grace to you and peace from God our Creator and our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, the Judicial Council released its decision on a request for a declaratory decision from the South Central Jurisdiction (SCJ) in response to the Western Jurisdiction’s (WJ) nomination, election, consecration and assignment of Karen Oliveto as a Bishop of ...

Review all clergy qualifications, court says


By Linda Bloom April 28, 2017 | NEWARK, N.J. (UMNS) United Methodist boards of ordained ministry must look at all qualifications to determine whether a ministerial candidate is a fitting applicant — including adherence to the church’s position on homosexuality. That is the ruling of the Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, in petitions related to the New York and Northern Illinois conferences, where those boards had publicly declared they would not consider issues of sexuality when ...

Bishops set date for special 2019 General Conference


By Heather Hahn April 25, 2017 | UMNS The Council of Bishops announced the call to a special General Conference on Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. The special meeting of The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly will be limited to acting on a report by Council of Bishops, based on the proposals from the Commission on the Way Forward. The 32-member commission, appointed by the bishops, has the charge of finding ways for the denomination to stay together despite deep ...

Court hears arguments over gay bishop


Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS Bishop Karen Oliveto (left) meets Dixie Brewster (right) for the first time prior to the opening of oral arguments before the United Methodist Judicial Council meeting in Newark, N.J. Brewster is petitioner questioning whether a gay pastor can serve as a bishop in The United Methodist Church. At rear is the Rev. Keith Boyette, representing Brewster before the council. By Linda Bloom April 25, 2017 | NEWARK, N.J. (UMNS) Was last July’s election of a gay bishop by ...

Five ways The United Methodist Church has impacted malaria


By Crystal Caviness and Ashley Gish April 25 is World Malaria Day, an international observance dedicated to malaria awareness. Since 2010, the people of The United Methodist Church through its Imagine No Malaria initiative have focused on reducing malaria deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the process, the denomination has learned that “our God is able, more than able to do more than we can ask or imagine.” Together, we have: Provided more than 4 million life-saving bed nets ...

4 churches merge to build North Fork UMC


Bishop Thomas Bickerton prays with Long Island Easter clergy on the site where a new home for North Fork UMC will be built in Southold, N.Y. Pastor Thomas MacLeod, pastor of the merged church, stands to the bishop's right. PHOTO BY JULIA YH YIM BY JOANNE S. UTLEY Editor, The Vision When Thomas MacLeod was a member of the Cutchogue United Methodist Church, he worked as a carpenter and contractor. Now, in his second career as a pastor, he’ll soon be overseeing the construction of the new home ...

Church braces for ruling on gay bishop


By Sam Hodges April 20, 2017 | DALLAS (UMNS) From prayer vigils to press releases, plenty of evidence suggests keen interest in and deep concern about a looming United Methodist Judicial Council decision on whether a gay pastor can serve as bishop. The oral hearing will be Tuesday, April 25, in Newark, New Jersey, with a ruling expected a few days later. The outcome could affect the status of Mountain Sky Area Bishop Karen Oliveto, a lesbian married to another woman. The Western Jurisdictional ...

Bishops say pray, don’t be afraid as Judicial Council weighs decision


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 18, 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C. - Council of Bishops President Bishop Bruce Ough has called on all United Methodists to pray unceasingly, intentionally and earnestly for the unity of the church as the Judicial Council ponders its decision on the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto. A petition requesting a declaratory decision on the election, consecration and assignment of Bishop Oliveto will be considered during the church’s highest court’s meeting April 25-28 in New Jersey. ...

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