Provocation upon provocation

More than 70 United Methodist pastors from the West Ohio Annual Conference participated in or bore witness to the same-sex wedding ceremony on Saturday, May 7. One of the clergy participants acknowledged the ceremony is in violation of UM Church teaching, but said it would “excite, engage and motivate others working for change.” The same […]

ARCHIVE: Civil Rights, Ecclesiastical Wrongs

– September/October 2000 – In the height of the 1960s civil rights era, the Rev. Melvin Talbert was locked in a jail cell in Atlanta for three days with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The two men were joined by 30 other student radicals who had been arrested during a demonstration against segregation. The captive […]

John Wesley, Revelation, and Homosexual Experience

– By Donald A. D. Thorsen – In May, the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, will meet in Portland for its quadrennial nine-day general conference. Among its actions, the United Methodists will be asked to reaffirm their doctrinal statement that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. […]

Most Americans Pray for Healing

Nearly nine of 10 Americans have relied upon healing prayer at some point in their lives, praying for others even more than for themselves, according to a study by a Baylor University epidemiologist. “The most surprising finding is that more than a quarter of all Americans have practiced laying on of hands — and nearly […]

Anonymous UM Clergywoman Stirs Debate

By Walter Fenton- An anonymous UM clergywoman recently ignited a conversation with a posting on the Methodist Federation for Social Action’s webpage. “I chose to go on birth control,” she wrote, “because I didn’t want to get pregnant and I wanted to have sex. Because I am a clergy woman … and I’m single, that […]

Kansas Pastor Likely to Face Church Trial

By Walter Fenton – A Great Plains Annual Conference pastor, who earlier this year announced she is living in a partnered relationship with another woman, is likely to face a church trial after she and Bishop Scott Jones failed to reach a just resolution in her case. The Rev. Cynthia Meyer came out to her […]

Economist crunches UM numbers

By Walter Fenton- Earlier this year almost all the hot button issues were on the agenda at The United Methodist Church’s pre-General Conference briefing in Portland, Oregon: denominational restructuring plans, divestment of church pension funds, climate change, and of course same sex marriage and the ordination of openly gay clergy. But there was one very […]

Popular Course of Study at United Theological Seminary Discontinued

By Walter Fenton – More than 180 students studying to be United Methodist local pastors will need to find a new place to continue their education. The denomination’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) recently announced it will “formally discontinue the pilot Course of Study program … offered through United Theological Seminary [in […]

The Indomitable Spirit of East Congo United Methodists

Despite challenges most Christians can barely imagine, East Congolese United Methodists not only survive, they thrive. United Methodist News Service reporter Kathy Gilbert tells their story of perseverance in the face of war, burned out churches, and internal challenges. Many of the churches are in areas where war has never ended. “There is fighting every day; most […]

Openly Gay, Married Woman Recommended as Provisional Deacon

By Walter Fenton In open defiance of The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline and less than three months before General Conference, the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry announced that it has recommended Tara “T.C.” Morrow for commissioning as a Provisional Deacon. Morrow is married to another woman. The recommendation came during the […]