General Conference votes to withdraw from Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

By Jessica Brodie, special contributor PORTLAND, Ore.—General Conference voted May 19 that two United Methodist entities withdraw immediately from membership in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The motion passed 425-268. The General Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Women currently are members of the RCRC, a national community of religious organizations […]

Sent out: Thursday morning worship at General Conference

If worshippers didn’t already know that the world is a tough place for millions of people, they certainly did after hearing the Thursday morning message from Bishop John Yambasu, who serves in the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area.  “It is estimated that one in every hundred people in our world are either on the run or living […]

Commentary: A primer on Central Conferences

The first week of General Conference made one thing clear: there will be no softening of the Book of Discipline’s language regarding human sexuality. Again. A quick recap here. Many United Methodists identify as centrists regarding their stance on theological and sexuality issues. Kind of a “live and let live approach,” that offers a wide […]

A Pastoral Response to A Love Letter To Our Church From LGBTQI Religious Leaders

Editor’s Note: 24 Bishops signed a pastoral letter Tuesday in support of GLBTQ UM Clergy, who came out last week just before General Conference began in Portland, Ore. The text of the letter follows: We speak from among those who are called to shepherd the United Methodist flock. Our hearts break knowing that some United […]

Bishop Ough to address morning plenary re: split rumors

    10:24 Bishop Ough addresses the plenary session. He shares a personal story of broken heartedness with regard to his brother, who died several years ago of heart disease.  He tells the body that the Council of Bishops have been in conversation with “leading voices from various groups, our conference delegations, and General Conference […]

General Conference elects members to Judicial Council and The Commission on the General Conference

Delegates to the 2016 General Conference elected members to the denomination’s Judicial Council and the Commission on the General Conference in the second half of today’s morning business session. We’ll add the University Senate results as soon as that vote happens, likely this afternoon. Judicial Council: Lay: Ruben Reyes, Deanell Reece Tacha, Lidia Romao Guele […]

Bishop Devadhar: Listen for wisdom in unexpected places

Light and darkness. African beat and liturgical dance. Hopeful listening and wise advice. These were the elements worshippers found in worship Saturday morning at General Conference in Portland Ore. The Tamba Marimba Ensemble offered the beat.  The strains of “star of wonder, star of light” teased the ear in the darkened room illuminated only by […]

Multimedia: Immigration Rally

A collaborative effort featuring photos from Skyler Nimmons (Indiana Conference), Paul Jeffrey (United Methodist News Service), and audio from UMR managing editor Laura Harbert Allen. “It’s based on the mandate of Christ, to welcome the refugee,” said Bishop Minerva Carcano of the California-Pacific Conference. Today’s rally took place outside the Oregon Convention Center in downtown […]

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball reflects on today’s laity address

I had a chance to catch up with Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball today. We worked together for several years, and I’m very familiar with her belief that laity are vital to transforming the church in the 21st century. Take a listen to her reflection on the laity address, and read the full text here. Laura […]

News Analysis: Who is the “We” at General Conference?

“We are winning!” “We are losing.” Rev. Jason Valendy, reserve delegate to General Conference stood outside a legislative committee room. He had hoped to observe the election of officers inside, but seating space for non-members was limited, and fire marshals ordered him out of the space. One woman slipped out briefly, and as she came […]

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