Archives for May 2012

Reflections: Recalling one of the ‘firsts’ who transformed our world

April 15 is seared into the minds of American taxpayers. This deadline date for filing one’s yearly tax return causes dread for millions of taxpayers, especially for those who wait until the deadline to fill out their returns. However, for all of us, simply seeing the date is a reminder of our national obligation. The […]

Summit UMC: New church moving mountains

By Holly McCray, Special Contributor… EDMOND, Okla.—Maybe heaven smells like cinnamon rolls. The visitor smiles and follows the sweet scent into the worship space for Summit UMC, meeting in an Edmond school on a Sunday morning. Welcoming smiles everywhere expand the guest’s grin. This group surely reflects heaven. As the new year began, this new […]

History difficult to track for ‘Thou Once Despised Jesus’

The authorship of some hymns remains shrouded in mystery. This 18th-century hymn has remained in use, though in an adapted form, to the current day even though we have never been certain of its origins. Hymnal compilers during the 18th and 19th centuries often made it difficult to ascribe authorship. Most collections from this era […]

Bishop tells story of Cuban church growth

By Neill Caldwell, Special Contributor… STAFFORD, Va.—Even those in the audience who do not speak Spanish could grasp the meaning of a word that Bishop Ricardo Pereira kept using over and over: “corazón” . . . “heart.” As in you have to have a heart that burns with the desire to do the Lord’s work. […]

Council of Bishops decides to limit meetings, shift roles

TAMPA, Fla.—The United Methodist Council of Bishops voted overwhelmingly April 20 to reform its organization and reduce its meetings as a full council to once a year. “I see this as a move toward building a community where we can support one another, encourage one another and talk to each other about what’s working and […]

Bishop has ‘sole authority,’ UM top court says

TAMPA, Fla.—United Methodist bishops have the “sole authority” to determine the time when an annual conference will meet, says the United Methodist Judicial Council. That decision, on a case involving an interim bishop in the Philippines, came during the top court’s April 22-23 spring meeting. In 2011, Bishop Daniel Arichea, assigned as presiding bishop of […]

Local congregations still hold key to the future

OK, let’s think about next steps. That’s my best advice for what to do after all the hubbub around General Conference has passed. After the final vote has been taken. And after the last delegate has boarded his plane for home. Next steps. Specifically, what those next steps are going to be, and where they’re […]

With GC finished, can we focus on connection?

By Ben Gosden, Special Contributor… Thoughts from a young pastor as General Conference 2012 comes to a close: Grace and peace to everyone who has worked so hard to make General Conference 2012 happen. A special thanks to all of the leaders, delegates, bishops, agency representatives and lay people who gave up two weeks to […]

Restructuring effort goes down, General Conference adjourns

Efforts to restructure general agencies of the United Methodist Church came crashing down Friday when the Judicial Council declared unconstitutional Plan UMC, the compromise legislation passed at General Conference. The dramatic decision was announced in the waning hours of General Conference, whose delegates had labored first in committee, then in plenary session, to agree on a […]

Judicial Council wipes out UMC agency restructuring

  The Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church this afternoon declared unconstitutional Plan UMC, the compromise effort to restructure church agencies. The dramatic decision was announced at General Conference, where delegates had labored first in committee, then in plenary session, to agree on some way to streamline church agencies and focus them on supporting […]