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Ministry Matters: The rise of the “Methodist middle”

According to the New Testament book of Acts, surprising the church is the Holy Spirit’s idea of a good time.

My consistent prayer for our General Conference has been that the Spirit would once again surprise the church by opening a new or unexpected way through the conflicting convictions about same-sex relations that have divided our denomination for four decades. I described my hope for that surprise in an interview with Ministry Matters.

Commentary: No choice but to talk about breaking up

After the end of a week together, with only a few days remaining at the United Methodist Church’s General Conference, few things are certain. However, one thing that is certain, despite pleadings from the Bishops and the constant refrain from the platform for unity, is that the United Methodist Church is anything but unified on the primary issue that divides us — LGBTQ inclusion.

Commentary: The GC legislative process explained. Kind of.

“I am with the press and wish to observe this committee.” So I told the man standing at the door of one of the 12 different legislative committees meeting simultaneously. “I’m sorry, the observation space room is full. I can’t let you in until someone comes out.” Fair enough. All meetings must be open to […]

Commentary: Where are the youth?

By Amanda Tobey* 0.23%. That is percentage of youth voting delegates on the floor of General Conference this year. It is commonly understood that youth and young adults are hugely underrepresented on a global level in the United Methodist Church. A question that commonly gets posed is, “How can we get more youth to come […]

Are Africans Grown? A Response to Bishop Minerva Carcanó “Dealing with ‘Wounded’ United Methodist Church”

by Yoknyam Dabale* The proverbial wisdom of my ancestors the Yotti/Bali (Chamba) people of Middle-belt, Nigeria teaches us to, “Kiti da mang mpape” (look before you jump). The United Methodist Church just opened its 2016 general conference. This event brings together Methodists globally every four years to fellowship and assess the church’s mission in the […]

Commentary: Scripture and the Christian Moral Life

*by David Watson There’s a lively conversation taking place online about the best ways for Christians to interpret the Bible. In particular, I’ll point out recent posts by Adam Hamilton and Ben Witherington, both of whom are very fine thinkers and committed servants of the church. I’d like to weigh in on this discussion, specifically […]

Commentary: It’s time for the US church to become a central/regional conference.

*By Dr. Tim Bruster One of the proposals coming to the General Conference next month would create a Central Conference for the United States (CCUS). Every worldwide nature of the church study for the last six quadrennia has made a recommendation to create a central conference or regional conference for the US to deal with […]

Blest Be The Tie That Binds

*by Bishop Scott Jones During the last four months, I have had multiple invitations to break my vows. Many people have suggested that, in the name of protesting against perceived injustice, I should disobey the discipline of The United Methodist Church and violate the sacred promises I have made at two key points in my […]

A Response to Same-sex Marriages

Editor’s Note: Scott was asked to write an opinion piece after some recent comments on another published piece by UMR.  We think it is important to highlight the diversity of opinion in the UMC.  We always welcome well-written thoughtful submissions. Thank you Scott.   by Scott Fritzsche Another same-sex marriage took place in The United […]

The UMC’s Messy Language About Sexuality: A Rejoinder To Dr. Thomas Frank

by Chris Ritter When I am confronted by posts with which I viscerally disagree I usually only mumble something to myself and move on. This is what I did with a recent post that suggested that the UMC “sold its soul” when it named “making disciples of Jesus Christ” as the mission of the church. […]

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