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On repairing broken trust in the UMC

By Ricky Harrison, Special Contributor… The first night of the 2012 General Conference opened with a grand worship service. There were bright lights, cool graphics, beautiful music, abundant prayer shawls and a moving sermon. One of the most moving moments in the service for me was the sight of all of our episcopal leaders, in […]

United Methodist Men salute Scout milestone, give two awards at GC

By Rich Peck, UMNS… TAMPA, Fla.—The 2012 General Conference marked the 100th birthday of the Girl Scouts, one of the youth-serving organizations supported by the Commission on United Methodist Men. It was appropriate for the birthday celebration to be in Tampa because one of the first troops was organized in this city. In 1913, Jessamine […]

Commissioning ceremony sends out 40 mission staff

By Elliott Wright, Special Contributor… TAMPA, Fla.—Voices of the worldwide Methodist family came together in a Florida church on Sunday, April 29, to bless and celebrate 40 people being sent into the world as missionaries, deaconesses and home missioners to witness to God’s love, mercy and justice. Representatives from Methodist churches in more than two […]

Response to Bishop Willimon

By Jay Voorhees, Special Contributor… Dear Bishop Willimon, This morning the net was abuzz with commentary about your UMR essay “Church By Committee.” Frankly there was little in the article that surprised me for I’ve known you long enough to know of your disdain for the system that we are both part of. I have […]

Judicial Council did the denomination a favor

By Bishop Mike Coyner, Special Contributor… You have probably heard the news that the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church (which is kind of like our Supreme Court) ruled that the new structure passed by the General Conference was unconstitutional. Thus the hours and hours of work by the General Conference were overturned, and […]

Reflections: Visit to a far-off cemetery offers lessons in sacrifice

There are six chaplains commemorated at the Cambridge American Cemetery, the superintendent noted, including three whose names are on the Wall of the Missing. As we remembered them, the superintendent told the story of four gallant chaplains who were made famous partly because of a documentary film about them. The four—two Protestant clergymen, a Roman […]

GC trims budget, apportionments

By Rich Peck, UMNS… General Conference 2012 approved a budget of $603.1 million for seven general church funds during the 2013-2016 period; that total is 6.03 percent less than the amount apportioned for the previous four-year period—the first time the assembly has accepted a lower budget than the amount set for the preceding period. That […]

The next four years call for evangelical patience

I was watching the live feed of the proceedings of General Conference on Friday, May 4, when Decision 1210 from the church’s Judicial Council was reported. What is Decision 1210, you ask? It was the bombshell letting the General Conference know that much of its efforts at crafting and approving a broad restructuring proposal for […]

Change may require withholding apportionments

By Andy Langford, Special Contributor… An Open Letter to United Methodists I reflect on General Conference 2012 with deep and profound sadness.  Many persons are now offering their own opinions about what happened in Tampa.  At the adjournment of General Conference, Bishop Scott Jones said that he had witnessed “the death throes of a 1970s […]

Running late: Sunday celebration and challenge

After a day of scheduled rest, General Conference delegates gathered at the Tampa Convention Center last night (Sunday night, April 29) for a plenary session celebrating highlights of the denomination’s ministries and mission projects. But by the end of the evening, as the program ran 70 minutes past its scheduled 9:30 p.m. closing time, not […]

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