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Getting a jump on electing General Conference delegates

Amidst all of the petitions which failed, were never considered at all, or passed but then were overturned by the Judicial Council, at least one new provision in the Book of Discipline that was adopted by the largely “Do-Nothing General Conference” last year, now provides an interesting opportunity to annual conferences across the connection. Originally […]

Lay of the Land: Getting to know gay people makes big difference

By Richard Hearne, UMR Columnist… In the roughly 30 years I have been involved in local church, annual conference, jurisdiction and General Conference activities, I have been in many contentious meetings. The most contentious meeting I ever attended was over the topic of the marriage policy in my local church. Every parent that had an […]

Consider consequences of UMC breakup

By Ted A. Campbell, Special Contributor… The possibility of dividing the United Methodist Church as a way out of persistent conflicts over homosexuality has been raised enough times in recent years to warrant serious reflection on what it would entail. The fact that Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Lutherans have all seen either formal divisions or significant […]

Judicial Council needs a change of worldview

By Joe Whittemore, Special Contributor… A few hours before the adjournment of the 2012 General Conference, the highly controversial Decision No. 1210 issued by the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church addressed and overturned restructure Plan UMC, which had been approved by a 59.62 percent vote of the General Conference. This hasty council decision […]

Western Jurisdiction won’t walk away from UMC

By Patricia Farris, Special Contributor… Is the glass half full or half empty? It’s a trick question, of course, because the answer is always “Yes.” But in a win-lose paradigm, only one side can be right. And so, there are those, including my friend and colleague, Claremont School of Theology Professor Jack Jackson, who see […]

UMC reformers feeling thwarted by Judicial Council

The frustration level for reformers of the struggling United Methodist Church appeared to reach a new high as the denomination’s Judicial Council struck down the last major reform standing after General Conference 2012. The council, after an Oct. 24-27 meeting outside Chicago that considered 18 cases, ruled that legislation to end guaranteed appointment for ordained […]

Judicial Council upholds guaranteed appointment for clergy, overturning GC 2012 action

By Neill Caldwell for United Methodist News Service… ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (UMNS) — The top court of The United Methodist Church has upheld church rules that ensure security of appointment for elders and associate clergy members, striking down legislation passed by the denomination’s lawmaking assembly last spring. The church’s General Conference, meeting in Tampa, […]

Bishop Wenner defends her signing of letter to Congress regarding Israel

Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the UMC’s Council of Bishops, has released a statement defending her decision to join more than a dozen other Christian leaders in sending a letter to Congress, urging an investigation of possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Export Control Act. Some Jewish groups, including […]

After spring storm in Tampa, it’s time to assess, reform GC

By C. Chappell Temple, Special Contributor… With Hurricane Isaac now having passed, it appears that the Republicans weathered potential storms in Tampa better than the United Methodists did when we met in that city earlier this year. So what went wrong when the Wesleyans wandered down by the waters? First, ego and agenda often edged […]

Q&A: It takes discipline to edit Discipline

It’s said that the two items no one wants to see being made are laws and sausages. Perhaps the United Methodist Book of Discipline should be added to that list. It takes almost six months—and a process defined by the rules of the General Conference—before the denomination knows exactly what happened after its big legislative […]

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