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Religion News Service: Methodist General Conference to discuss LGBT issues — again

CHICAGO (RNS) “It’s time,” said the Rev. A. Wendy Witt during Sunday services at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple. Time to open the doors of the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, that is. First United Methodist is one of the more than 750 congregations within the United Methodist Church […]

Haynes: Who says Elephants can’t dance?

Of course, the divisive issue that we face now is whether to change the language of the Book of Discipline as related to homosexuality. In many local churches divisions over our acceptance or rejection of homosexuals could become a crippling blow. The General Conference’s discernment on the issue of sexuality has serious implications for our continued life together.

Adam Hamilton starts new series on the Bible, homosexuality, and the UMC

Adam Hamilton, the pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection  (the largest United Methodist Church in the U.S.) has started a new series on his blog adamhamilton.org titled “The Bible, Homosexuality, and the UMC.” Hamilton is offering the series in preparation for the United Methodist General Conference which begins on May 10 in […]

Divorce and Remarriage in American Methodism: The evolution of church positions from 1884 to 2012

By Dr. Rex D. Matthews I am currently engaged in research project that intends to trace the broad contours of the evolutionary change of American Methodist positions concerning divorce and remarriage and to set the story of that change in the larger context of changing attitudes toward divorce and remarriage in American culture and society. […]

Commentary: A proposal for automatic penalties for clergy

Is it time for the United Methodist Church to do away with church trials to adopt a more efficient system of automatic penalties for wayward clergy?

Commentary: Why excluding people makes bad church law

The 2016 General Conference faces a daunting task of acting on hundreds of legislative reports and petitions in only ten days. But no task at hand is more important than correcting 44 years of unconstitutional and exclusionary church law on human sexuality.

Haynes: The Tyranny of Self Righteousness

When I retired at age sixty-four rather than sixty-five, I was often asked, “why?” I usually referred to my forty-six years of service or that we had completed our retirement home, but seldom revealed the real reason. Actually, I retired because one layman came into chew me out for one illustration that he did not […]

GCFA and CT consider 2017-2010 budget recommendation

Nashville, TN –  The Board of Directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) and the membership of the Connectional Table (CT) met individually and considered a recommendation to present a $599 million budget to General Conference in May. This is a change from the $611 million that was previously approved by both […]

Bishop announces failure of Just Resolution process in Meyer case

Bishop Scott Jones of the Great Plains Episcopal Area announced yesterday that he was referring the complaint made against the Rev. Cynthia Meyer regarding her relationship with another woman to the Rev. David Bell, who has been named as the counsel for the church in a process that may ultimately lead to another church trial. […]

Commentary: Democracy and the politics of grace

By Darryl Stephens* In a recent commentary for UMNS, I took up the issue of fairness of representation, focusing whose voices get heard at General Conference. David W. Scott and others have also pointed to the issue of voice in relation to central conference delegates. An underlying theological issue, though, is the relation between democracy […]