How to support the military on Veterans day and beyond


By Tricia Brown According to the Department of Defense, in 2015, 266 active-duty members of the United States military committed suicide. So did another 209 reserve members. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated in its 2012 Suicide Data Report that about 22 American veterans killed themselves each day. Those are frightening statistics; the numbers are staggering. Other research indicates that as many as 20 percent of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, while many others...

Jazz-playing pastor keeps the faith and the beat


Photo by Edmar Flores, Third Eye Photography The Rev. Nat Dixon plays at Manhattan’s West End Lounge, during an Oct. 22 release party for his new CD “Made in New York: Nat Dixon & Friends.” Dixon is pastor of St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in the Bronix, N.Y.   By Sam Hodges Nov. 9, 2016 | UMNS The Rev. Nat Dixon used to be a full-time jazz musician, and he never preaches without first picking up his tenor saxophone and riffing a bit. Blending the gospel message with jazz is what he’s ...

Moving on after Election Day: Tips for finding healing and peace


Reconciliation can be difficult after a period of conflict. Experts help us find ways to reconnect. Reconciliation by Vasconcellos. Photo by Martinvl, courtesy Wikimedia Commons A Feature by Joe Iovino* November 9, 2016 has finally arrived. The votes have been counted and the United States has a new president-elect. After more than a year of campaigning, it’s over. Or is it? The Rev. W. Craig Gilliam helps us find ways to reconnect after times of conflict. Photo courtesy of the Rev. ...

New York Board Responds to Ruling on Gay Ordination


By Linda Bloom and Vicki Brown Nov. 4, 2016 | NEW YORK (UMNS) The recent Judicial Council decision related to a New York Conference bishop’s ruling on gay ordination issues has prompted statements from the conference board of ordained ministry, the current bishop and advocacy groups. New York was one of two conferences — the other was Northern Illinois — where the top court of The United Methodist Church asked for a further ruling from bishops regarding public affirmations by boards of ordained...

An Open Letter from the Chair of the New York Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:   Over the past few days, members of the New York Annual Conference (NYAC) of The United Methodist Church, especially members of its Board of Ordained Ministry, (BOOM) have awaited the Judicial Council’s decision regarding an appeal submitted by a member of the NYAC. Central to this case is a well-known phrase coming from the Book of Discipline (BOD), “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing ...

UM Clergy Head to Standing Rock for Protest


By Sam Hodges Nov. 2, 2016 | UMNS The Rev. Richenda Fairhurst had a wedding earlier this week and needs to be back in her pulpit on Sunday. But the United Methodist pastor decided to take two flights and an hour-long car ride to get from Washington State to North Dakota, so she can briefly join the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Fairhurst and hundreds of other clergy from a range of faith traditions will gather Nov. 3 for a “Stand with Standing Rock” event, ...

Council of Bishops to call for 2019 General Conference


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 2, 2016 Council of Bishops to call for 2019 General Conference Sets forth actions to involve the whole church in prayer and conversation St. Simons Island, Ga.: Through an affirmative vote at their fall  meeting this week, the United Methodist Council of Bishops expressed their intent to call for a special session of the General Conference in either February or March of 2019 and asked the business manager of  the General Conference to move forward with exploring ...

Bishop Responds to Judicial Council Ruling


“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.” -Ephesians 2:19, NRSV   The Judicial Council recently issued a ruling on the bishop’s Decision of Law in the New York Annual Conference concerning whether or not the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is required to ascertain whether a candidate meets the ...

Court to bishops: Rule on ‘proper’ questions of law


By Linda Bloom Oct. 30, 2016 | LISLE, Ill. (UMNS) Bishops must answer all questions of law that are properly before them, The United Methodist Church’s top court said in two cases stemming from the ordination of gay clergy. That opinion was part of two decisions from the fall meeting of the Judicial Council, which met  Oct. 25-28 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lisle, Illinois. Two cases, from the New York and Northern Illinois annual conferences, centered on a bishop’s decision of law regarding ...

Ruling on Bishop's Decision of Law Concerning LGBTQI Candidates


The Judicial Council has affirmed in part and reversed in part Bishop Jane Allen Middleton's decision of law concerning questions over ministry candidacy requirements raised at the 2016 New York Annual Conference.

Hurricane Matthew Response


Dear Friends & Colleagues, Just a short three weeks ago Hurricane Matthew began a path of destruction and chaos through Haiti and the southeastern coast of the United States. In the wake of the storm over 800 lives were lost and countless others were left without home or shelter. Less than two weeks ago, the aftermath of the storm created historic flooding in North Carolina leaving some towns completely under water. Last week I had the privilege of being with Bishop Jonathan ...

Hurricane Matthew: Report #2 from Eglise Méthodiste d’Haiti


To donate online: UMC International Disaster Response Advance #982450 Or, The Methodist Church World Mission Fund   The last week has been very busy with 16-hour working days and hence, we have not had a chance to send out an update on the aftermath of the hurricane until now. The EMH Bishop Gesner Paul was able to make an initial visit to Cayes and Jeremie over the weekend 9th-10th October to take food and other supplies and to assess the extent of need in the communities. The results ...

Tri-District Retreat Presentations Available Online


The presentations from both Bishop Thomas Bickerton and Rev. David A. Gilmore are now available.

Hurricane Matthew in Haiti – the Church Responds


In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Brulan Jean-Michel, the manager of the Methodist Guest House in Petionville, Haiti, summarized what many were thinking when he wrote: “I want to thank each and everyone for their thoughts and prayers as hurricane Matthew passed over Haiti. It has been, and still is, a very difficult situation to deal with due to the fact that we have not yet completely recovered from the devastation caused by the earthquake of 2010. I sometimes find myself asking,...

New overtime rule means church changes


Read Ross William's email on this topic By Heather Hahn Oct. 5, 2016 | UMNS A new federal rule that increases the number of U.S. workers who are eligible for overtime pay could have an impact on your church’s payroll. Most church employees who are not clergy are among those affected by the new regulation — currently set to take effect Dec. 1. Under the new U.S. Department of Labor rule, most workers earning up to $47,476 annually ($913 per week) will qualify for overtime pay. That roughly ...

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