Responding to Misconceptions about the Bishops’ Commission

By Thomas Lambrecht- The Bishops’ Commission on a Way Forward for the Church is now in its fifth month of work. We have had three face-to-face meetings and are preparing for a fourth in July. Over these months, I have continued to hear criticisms of the Commission that stem from misunderstandings or myths about what […]

Maintaining Standards for Ordination

By Thomas Lambrecht- Two of the Judicial Council’s decisions reinforced the duty of annual conference boards of ordained ministry to determine that candidates for licensing, commissioning, and ordination all meet the requirements of the Book of Discipline, including the requirement for “celibacy in singleness and fidelity in a heterosexual marriage.” In the run-up to General […]

Judicial Council Upholds Bishop’s Rejection of Cynical Resolution

Editor’s Note: Overshadowed by its significant ruling regarding the consecration of an openly lesbian bishop, the Judicial Council did issue other important decisions. Below, the Rev. Walter Fenton reviews one of them and the Rev. Thomas Lambrecht addresses two others. By Walter Fenton Without any dissenting opinions, the Council affirmed Bishop Mark J. Webb’s decision […]

Good News President Addresses Judicial Council Decision

The Rev. Rob Renfroe, President of Good News, shares his thoughts on the recent Judicial Council decision and how the UM Church should move forward from here.

Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of W. Warren Plowden Jr., Member of the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church

Par. 56 Article II. of the Constitution enumerates four specific instances in which the Judicial Conference has “authority” to act. It then enumerates a fifth instance in which the Judicial Council will “have such other duties and powers as may be conferred upon it by the General Conference. The General Conference undertook to give the Council […]

Misimpressions in Statement from the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops

By Walter Fenton- “The ruling is long and complicated,” wrote Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky in a statement on behalf of the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops. Stanovsky was of course commenting on the Judicial Council’s recent decision regarding the Western Jurisdictional Conference’s election and assignment of the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a United Methodist bishop. […]

Bright Spots in a Confusing Decision

By Tom Lambrecht- Last week’s decision by the Judicial Council regarding the election and consecration of an openly lesbian bishop in a same-sex marriage was very complicated and not entirely consistent. The Council strove to tailor its decision as narrowly as possible and delved into many legal technicalities. In the midst of all the complexity, […]

Good News Statement Regarding the Judicial Council’s Recent Decision

Good News greets with some dismay – as will many men and women in the pews – the Judicial Council’s convoluted and ultimately unsatisfactory ruling regarding the Western Jurisdictional Conference’s nomination, election, consecration, and assignment of Bishop Karen Oliveto, an openly gay bishop who is married to another woman, and one who has admitted to […]

Call for Global Prayer and Fasting for United Methodist Church

To United Methodists from the Rev. Dr. Jerry Kulah, Central Conference Coordinator, UMC Africa Initiative (Liberia Annual Conference), and The Rev. Evariste Kimba, Coordinator, French & Kiswahili Region, UMC Africa Initiative (Democratic Republic of Congo). Dearly beloved, On behalf of our global church, we wish to invite you, your local church, district, annual and provisional annual […]

UM Church’s “Supreme Court” Hears Oral Arguments

By Walter Fenton- The Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church heard oral arguments this past Tuesday in the matter of the Western Jurisdictional Conference’s nomination, election, consecration, and assignment of the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a bishop of the church. Oliveto is openly gay and married to Ms. Robin Ridenour, a deaconess in the UM […]