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Term limits for U.S. bishops fails

A proposal to establish term limits for U.S. bishops of the UMC failed today. The petition got a bare majority – 463 for; 462 against – but didn’t get the two-thirds majority needed to amend the church constitution. The Rev. Michael Childs of the Mississippi Conference argued that passing term limits would help repair trust in the […]

Love, Owan, Abraham, Arnold elected to University Senate

General Conference delegates elected four people to serve on the University Senate of the UMC. Jan Love, dean of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, was one. She’s a former deputy general secretary of the Women’s Division of the Board of Global Ministries. Also elected was the Rev. Kasap Owan of the North […]

Caffeine and Connection

Addicts of caffeine or the Internet can find enabling at UMCOR’s exhibit area at General Conference 2012. There’s a charging station for iPhones and other devices, right next to a coffee bar. Visitors were invited to try free samples of Hope’s Blend, a new coffee blend offered by Equal Exchange, a free-trade coffee sold in […]

Tweh, Capen, Blackwell, Kiboko elected to Judicial Council

Elections to Judical Council have been a main part of today’s action at General Conference. N. Oswald Tweh Sr., a Harvard Law grad from Liberia, and Beth Capen of New York, a veteran GC delegate who grew up in rural parsonages, were elected as lay members. Ms. Capel has been on the council, and will serve […]

‘Set-aside’ bishop proposal fails

The proposal to establish the position of a full-time, “set-aside” president of the Council of Bishops failed at General Conference today. As a constitutional amendment, the proposal needed a two-thirds majority. The vote was 490 for and 399 against. This was a defeat for reformers, including Bishop Larry Goodpaster, who argued that as president for the past […]

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 […]

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 […]

Act of Repentance tonight at GC

Tonight’s worship at General Conference carries the title “An Act of Repentance toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous Peoples.” Here’s a sample line from the liturgy: “We name before you a heart-breaking list of wrongs committed by our ancestors against native peoples through imperial ambitions of colonial powers the world around …” Another sample: “Our faith […]