Blest Be The Ties That Bind

By Bishop Scott Jones- During the last four months, I have had multiple invitations to break my vows. Many people have suggested that, in the name of protesting against perceived injustice, I should disobey the discipline of The United Methodist Church and violate the sacred promises I have made at two key points in my […]

Making HIV/AIDS a Church Priority

By Kathy L. Gilbert- In a world where 37 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, a budget of $62,000 for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund is “a sin, a scandal, an embarrassment, and a shame” said Bishop Gregory Palmer at a fund event on the day before General Conference began in Portland. “I think […]

No Divestment on Fossil Fuels

By Sam Hodges- After prolonged, impassioned debate, General Conference 2016 chose not to add a fossil fuels investment screen for the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits. The question came down to divestment vs. engagement as the better way to use church investments in influencing energy companies to address climate change. A minority report […]

Clergy Offer Support to LGBTQ Pastors

By Kathy L. Gilbert- More than 1500 United Methodist clergy have signed a letter stating they would refuse to fill the pulpit of a LGBTQ pastor who was removed for “God’s given sexual orientation or gender identity.” Marching around the Oregon Convention Center, a group of LGBTQ supporters sang and shouted, “Tear the Walls Down […]

No Choice But Talking About Breaking Up

By Jack Jackson – Despite pleading from the Council of Bishops and the constant refrain from the platform for unity, The United Methodist Church is anything but unified on the primary issue that divides us — human sexuality. A significant minority of the denomination clearly believes that human sexuality expressed in LGBTQ relationships is integral to […]

Renewal Coalition in Portland

“There is a truth that transcends all cultures, all generations, all nations, and all eras of time. That is the Truth of Jesus Christ,” the Rev. Madeline Carrasco Henners, a United Methodist clergywoman, reminded the delegates and guests at one of the Good News Briefing Breakfasts in Portland. “The more you believe the truth of […]

Called to Be Great

By Ruth Burgner- Just a few weeks prior to General Conference, another gathering of United Methodists convened in Florida. In three church locations, key leaders studied the biblical basis for missions and learned how to develop a mission outreach plan for their congregations. This one-day seminar, hosted by The Mission Society, is the beginning of […]

Therefore Go!

The Council of Bishops chose Bishop Gregory V. Palmer to deliver the 2016 Episcopal Address. What follows is an excerpt of his address. We gather in these days in Portland, Oregon, guided by the theme, “Therefore Go.” It is based upon the so-called Great Commission found at the end of the Gospel of St. Matthew. […]

Death to Self is Not an Option

By B.J. Funk – The six year old child’s statement made us smile: “I haven’t been coming to this church long, and I haven’t been baptized or crucified.” How could she know? For indeed there is a crucifixion for those claiming to be Christian. Paul writes in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, […]

An Open Letter of Resignation and Regret

by Walter Fenton – The delegates at the 2016 General Conference, by an overwhelming vote, determined to severe all links between The United Methodist Church and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). The effect of the vote was to direct the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) and United Methodist Women (UMW) to […]