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3 Secret Reasons to be Grateful, Even Wen You’re Not

by Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter True confessions:  I’m a recovering worrier.  I can worry at the drop of a hat.  I do some of my best work in the middle of the night.  When a problem gets resolved, my mind naturally searches for the next thing that could possibly go wrong so that I can get […]

In Their Own Words: Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards

  Every day during the lunch break at General Conference, there is a service of Holy Communion, which is presided over by one of our bishops. Following Monday’s service, I had a chance to talk with Taylor Burton-Edwards, who serves as the director of worship resources for Discipleship Ministries. He spoke about the importance of […]

In Their Own Words: Rev. Mike Tupper

Last week I talked with Rev. Mike Tupper, a UMC clergy person serving in Michigan who has been sleeping outside in a tent since November 30. Rev. Tupper is protesting the exclusionary policies of the UMC about GLBTQI persons, including his daughter. Mike officiated at his daughter’s wedding in 2014 and another same-sex marriage in […]

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball reflects on today’s laity address

I had a chance to catch up with Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball today. We worked together for several years, and I’m very familiar with her belief that laity are vital to transforming the church in the 21st century. Take a listen to her reflection on the laity address, and read the full text here. Laura […]

News Analysis: Who is the “We” at General Conference?

“We are winning!” “We are losing.” Rev. Jason Valendy, reserve delegate to General Conference stood outside a legislative committee room. He had hoped to observe the election of officers inside, but seating space for non-members was limited, and fire marshals ordered him out of the space. One woman slipped out briefly, and as she came […]

Bishop Palmer pulls no punches in the Episcopal address

After somewhat lackluster morning worship filled with multiple languages and liturgies of confession, Bishop Gregory V. Palmer rose to offer the episcopal address this morning at the Oregon Convention Center. One word has never left his consciousness: humility. From there, Palmer took little time wading into the murky waters of the troubled United Methodist Church. […]

Opening worship characterized by words of diversity and call for unity

Editor’s Note: UMR correspondent Christy Thomas is a retired United Methodist Elder and known for her Mystery Worshipper series written for the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle. Christy offers her reflections on the opening worship service.  Portland, OR —Pentecost is May 15 this year. Those in opening worship at the 2016 General Conference experienced a touch of […]

Recently Read: The inconvenience of apportionments

by B. Kevin Smalls Visit his blog at I remember growing up hearing the complaints of how costly apportionments are to some local churches. “We don’t have that many people.” “Our building is falling down around us.” “We have needs in our own backyard.” Sadly, I’ve also seen the passive-aggressive ways of congregations to punish […]

A prayer for the victims of the Washington Navy Yard shootings

*by Jay Voorhees Master of the Universe, it has happened again. We don’t know the details, even as the news crews report breathlessly every scrap of information that floats by in the wind. We don’t know the perpetrator of this violence, nor their motive for their crimes. What we know is that once again people […]

A Word about the UM Portal

As most of you know, this past May CircuitWriter Media (of which I’m a partner) assumed control of in the wake of the closing of UMR Inc. which had operated the United Methodist Reporter in one form or another for over 160 years. While we purchased the website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and the rights […]