Archives for May 2012

GC gives $5 million for training central conference clergy

By Vicki Brown, Special Contributor… Lay people with no theological training lead more than 800 churches in Mozambique, and that is one example of the need for the $5 million Central Conference Theological Education Fund, said Bishop Joaquina Nhanala, episcopal leader of Mozambique. General Conference 2012 approved the creation of the fund this week and […]

After prayer, gay rights protest ends

A gay rights protest on the General Conference floor today ended after bishops agreed to let an openly gay pastor offer a prayer. The Rev. Frank Wulf, a delegate from the California/Pacific Conference, was invited to the podium. “Oh God rest upon this General Conference, give us wisdom to understand, to interpret, to know each other,” he […]

Delegate hit by car returns to plenary floor

Jessica Ireland, the General Conference delegate from Iowa who was hit by a car yesterday, appeared at the plenary session today in a wheelchair. “It’s not a way to become famous,” she told delegates, who prayed for her last night. “I don’t recommend it.” The Rev. Brian Milford, also of the Iowa delegation, introduced her […]

A chat with FakeUMCDS

As Twitter takes an increasingly larger role for ongoing conversation and commentary about General Conference happenings, tweeters have seen an increasing number of “fake” twitter accounts using the hashtag #gc2012. They include FakeUMBishop, FakeUMCreporter, FakeWillimon, FakeUMdelegate and the most famous, FakeUMCDS. The Rev. Mike Baughman, special contributor to The United Methodist Reporter had the chance to […]

Divestment effort fails at General Conference

General Conference delegates today chose not to require United Methodist Church boards and agencies to divest of holdings in three companies said to profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Supporters of divestment sought to get General Conference to consider legislation, in the form of a committee’s minority report, that targeted Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions […]

#GC2012: General Conference meets the Twitterverse

 TAMPA, Fla.—When the General Conference of the United Methodist Church met in Fort Worth in 2008, Twitter was still a bit of a novelty. Some dismissed it as a fad. But at General Conference in Tampa in 2012, Twitter emerged as a power to be reckoned with. “This was the first General conference where Twitter […]

General Conference — a first-timer’s account

By Alan Heath, CEO, UMR Communications… Based on the volume of discussion before General Conference 2012, I knew it would be “historic.” I had never attended a General Conference, only observing as an interested church member for the past 12 years. Just over eight months ago, I assumed CEO responsibility for UMR Communications, the parent […]

General Conference votes for agency restructuring

“Plan UMC,” a compromise effort to restructure general agencies of the United Methodist Church and focus them on supporting local congregations, was approved by General Conference delegates early this afternoon. The vote was 567 for and 384 against. Because the measure has financial implications, it must go to the General Council on Finance and Administration for […]

Interpreters keep dialogue moving at GC

TAMPA, Fla.—Early at General Conference 2012, delegates got a tutorial in how to use their voting keypads. It included a test run, with the instruction to vote for Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. And that posed a problem for Chali Kalaba, whose job was to help delegates avoid getting lost in translation. “I wish Americans […]

Do we understand how the church works?

Did you know the United Methodist Church opposes state lotteries and the death penalty? If you did not, you’re not alone. A serious knowledge gap exists in what United Methodists know about the official positions their denomination takes and even how it’s structured, say a number of church leaders. A recent survey by United Methodist […]