Archives for April 2012

Running late: Sunday celebration and challenge

After a day of scheduled rest, General Conference delegates gathered at the Tampa Convention Center last night (Sunday night, April 29) for a plenary session celebrating highlights of the denomination’s ministries and mission projects. But by the end of the evening, as the program ran 70 minutes past its scheduled 9:30 p.m. closing time, not […]

For the Love of God: a response to Saturday night

No one can agree to share their toys so we will all go home with no change in structure?  @pastor_clayton Parliamentary pandemonium broke out in the final General Administration Committee meeting of the 2012 General Conference as competing plans rose and fell in quick legislative succession, leaving the committee with no recommendation to re-structure the […]

Out of Saturday’s GC shame, God keeps door open

A commentary by Stephen Drachler: “United Methodists, trust the Lord! God is always merciful. God has the power to save you.” (Adapted from Psalm 130:7 Common English Bible) A few words describe the debacle that emerged from Saturday night’s failed debate over restructuring The United Methodist Church: Disgust. Mistrust. Manipulation. The chaotic ending of the […]

Panel fails, in overtime, to recommend restructuring plan

  In a wild and often confusing meeting that went into overtime, the General Administration committee of the UMC’s General Conference failed to agree on an agency reconstruction plan to send to the full body of delegates. At about 10 p.m. Saturday, the committee took a last vote on whether to recommend the plan put forward […]

UMW a step closer to separate status

Today at General Conference, the General Administration Committee approved legislation that would establish United Methodist Women as a separate entity within the UMC. With the committee hurdle cleared, the legislation moves to the full General Conference. UMW has been part of the Board of Global Ministries. Making it separate is one of several proposals for restructuring the general agencies of […]

Bishops Carcano, Trimble speak at immigration rally

Bishop Minerva Carcano and Bishop Julius Trimble spoke today at a lunch-time immigration rally at General Conference. They argued that prisons are a driver of high incarceration rates, including of immigrants. Many in the crowd of perhaps 200 held signs, and a common one attacked the private prison industry with the slogan “Profit From Pain […]

Same sex marriage allowance defeated in committee

The Committee on Ministry & Higher Education rejected sub-committee work that would have recommended another historic shift in the United Methodist Church. Submitted legislation sought to allow each Annual Conference to decide whether or not to allow same sex unions in their churches and by their pastors. The measure was defeated by a written ballot […]

Historic shift proposed by Comm. on Ministry & Higher Ed

The Committee on Ministry and Higher Education tackled an aggressive agenda of legislation this morning that could lead to a radical shift in the United Methodist Church. Guaranteed Appointments…not for long? The Committee began with one of the toughest issues before the General Conference: guaranteed appointments. After roughly 20 minutes of amendment and debate, the […]

Backers of agency consolidation ponder what went wrong

The dream some UMC leaders had of bringing most general church agencies under a single 15-member board, led by an executive, crashed and burned at General Conference on Friday. And the dreamers were left to lament their defeat in the General Administration Committee, and try to figure out what went wrong. “I trust the Holy […]

‘Old wineskins’ thinking hurts black churches

By F. Douglas Powe Jr., Special Contributor… Churches are struggling with their evangelistic outreach. What worked in the past doesn’t seem to work today. In studying African American churches, I have come to see something prevalent across a range of churches. Their evangelistic practices are not wrong so much as they are based on assumptions […]