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Lay of the Land: The final UM Reporter issue, and the final ‘-30-’

Editor’s note: This article was submitted prior to the announcement of the continuation of but CircuitWriter Media LLC, and is primarily in response to the end of the print edition of the United Methodist Reporter and UMR Communications Inc. We include it to honor the legacy of that which has gone before.  By Richard […]

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 […]

Lay of the Land: Let’s face it – Following Jesus can be ‘untidy’

By Richard Hearne, UMR Columnist… In a recent episode of Downton Abbey, Matthew and Lady Mary Crawley are finishing dressing for dinner when Matthew wants to give Lady Mary an affectionate embrace. Lady Mary puts off the advance with the words, “That would make me untidy.” These words came back to me when I was […]

Commentary: Two conversations that helped renew my hope

By Richard Hearne, Special Contributor… As a member of the North Texas Conference delegation to the last three General Conference sessions and an annual conference lay leader from 2008-2012, I have had the opportunity to attend multiple meetings discussing the decline of the United Methodist Church. The most dramatic talks centered on the prediction of […]

Kind words, hugs and pain at event for Bishop Bledsoe

Bishop Earl Bledsoe said goodbye to the North Texas Conference at a reception for him Sunday that included many hugs and kind words, but also recognition of the pained circumstances of his departure. “I hold no ill will, no grudges, no nothing – but God’s love for you,” he told a crowd of about 250 […]

Committee votes to retire Bishop Bledsoe

OKLAHOMA CITY – The South Central Jurisdiction’s episcopacy committee voted Tuesday night to retire Bishop Earl Bledsoe involuntarily, citing concerns about his administrative abilities. Such a move by a jurisdictional episcopacy committee apparently is a first for the United Methodist Church. The committee’s decision followed a negative performance review it gave Bishop Bledsoe for his four-year tenure in the […]