Satellite Congregation Votes to Leave UMC

By Walter Fenton- A congregation in Wichita, Kansas, that averages 350 in worship has voted to leave The United Methodist Church. As a satellite campus of Asbury UM Church, the congregation announced its decision on Sunday, March 19. “Some pastors and people are weary of all the defiance and unaccountability in the denomination,” said the […]

The UM Church Membership Conundrums

By Walter Fenton- Methodists down through the decades are famous for being “methodical” and giving attention to detail. From the very beginning, John Wesley baked into the Methodist system a regular accounting of membership and attendance in small groups. In order to participate in a worship service, Methodist members had to regularly attend small groups […]

Misunderstandings and Mischaracterizations

By Walter Fenton- As the Commission on a Way Forward moves beyond preliminaries to the hard task of proposing a plan for the church’s consideration, it is worth trying to clarify what United Methodists in the renewal and reform groups regard as misunderstandings or mischaracterizations of their positions. Not infrequently, some centrists and progressives claim […]

Commission on a Way Forward press release – Meeting 2

March 2, 2017 Atlanta, Ga.: Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia this week, the Commission on a Way Forward continued to make progress towards completing the groundwork for their task, building relationships, engaging in learning, information gathering, working and worshiping together. On Wednesday, the Rev. Donna Pritchard led a morning Bible study of Galatians 2. Later, Commission […]

Rescuing children in Sierra Leone

By Phileas Jusu- Mohamed Emmanuel Nabieu was 8 years old when his father was shot during a rebel attack and he was separated from his mother during the Sierra Leone civil war. After living on the streets for four months, workers from the United Methodist Child Rescue Center found him and offered help. Now, as […]

Q and A with Senate Chaplain Barry Black

Interview by Drew Dyck- When Senate chaplain Barry Black finished his keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 2, the normally restrained crowd of religious leaders, politicians, and visiting dignitaries jumped to their feet and cheered wildly. Then President Trump took the podium and voiced his appreciation. “I don’t know, Chaplain, whether or […]

Just Resolution Announced in Complaint Filed Against Bishop Julius Trimble

By Walter Fenton- On February 15, Bishop Laurie Haller of the Iowa Episcopal Area confirmed that a church trial had been averted regarding a complaint filed against Bishop Julius Trimble of the Indiana Episcopal Area. The complaint stemmed from Trimble’s handling of a complaint filed against the Rev. Anna Blaedel, a campus minister at the […]

An Invitation to Endless Church Conflict

By Walter Fenton- Most United Methodists have long recognized the debate over the church’s sexual ethics and its teachings on marriage has reached an impasse. However, a legal brief submitted to the UM Church’s Judicial Council (its “Supreme Court”) argues otherwise. It essentially invites the church’s highest court to prolong the legal maneuvering for several […]

Apportionments and the Viability of a Connectional Church

By Walter Fenton- Some United Methodists are pleased to pay them, others have come to loathe them, and still others have little or no idea they are contributing to them when they tithe and make gifts to their local church on Sunday morning. The “them” is apportionments; financial payments local churches make to fund the […]

The United Methodist Church Change in Financial Position Apportionment Funds December 31, 2016