September 20, 2019

The deadline to submit legislation to the 2020 General Conference is now in the rearview mirror. So what is ahead?

The coming months will provide a fuller picture of what options will be before delegates when The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly meets...

Traditionalist advocates met in private with United Methodist bishops from Africa, Europe and the Philippines to listen and discuss the denomination’s future — with separation raised as a distinct possibility.

Leaders of the Renewal and Reform Coalition, which includes...

October 29, 2018

The United Methodist Church’s top court has clarified what parts of legislation heading to the 2019 General Conference pass constitutional muster.

Now it’s up to plan supporters to decide how they will respond to the Judicial Council’s ruling.

“Whether a piece of propose...

October 2, 2018

Whatever delegates decide at the 2019 General Conference, the denomination’s pension agency wants United Methodist clergy and lay workers to know their accrued benefits aren’t going anywhere.

However, Wespath Benefits and Investments is also looking at ways to ensure th...

July 10, 2018

Expect to see the Commission on a Way Forward’s proposals in weeks — not months.

The organizers of General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly, announced that they expect the needed translation work to be completed by July 30 — after which it can be ma...

July 24, 2017

The Commission on a Way Forward is sketching plans for moving The United Methodist Church beyond its impasse around homosexuality.

At this point, commission members are not saying what those plans look like. Instead, the commission is waiting to unveil its proposals unt...

July 20, 2017

The feedback to the Commission on a Way Forward gives a sense of the task ahead.

The commission asked various United Methodists to describe their constituency’s “preferred future for our denomination regarding the nature, conditions and extent of the inclusion of LGBTQ...

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Other Wesleyan Resources

January 21, 2020

    The former great football player Barry Sanders was signed fresh out of college by the Detroit Lions in 1989.  Many eyebrows were raised when he was offered $6.1 million for five years.  More criticism came when Sanders was also given an immediate signing bonus of $2.1 million.  He and his agents were accused of greed.  Objections were somewhat silenced, however, when word leaked out that Sanders had sent a check for $210,0...

January 20, 2020

    A woman in Florida had a malignant tumor on her face.  Her physician told her that the only available treatments would cause much pain and some disfigurement.  The treatments did not offer a cure, but they would probably buy her more time.

     She listened and then said, “No thanks, Doctor, I’m not going to take the treatments.”  Somewhat alarmed, he said, “Look, if you don’t take the treatments you are...

January 17, 2020

       The Rev. Martin Niemoeller, a respected German Lutheran pastor during World War II, offered this poignant confession:

      “In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade union...

January 16, 2020

       Bishop Gerald Kennedy used to tell about a census worker who stopped one day at a small, unpretentious house and was met at the door by a weary mother.  “Lady,” he said, “I want to know how many there are in this family.  First, how many children do you have?”  “Well,” she said in a leisurely fashion, “There’s Johnny, Matilda, Reginald, Charles…”  “No, no, no,” interrupted the canvasser, “I don’t want their names, just...

January 15, 2020

     Occasionally one sees a bumper sticker that declares, “If it feels good, do it.”  A friend of mine told me that when he sees such a sticker, he is sorely tempted to ram that automobile.  I asked why.  He said, “Because I would like to have that driver ask me, ‘why did you ram my car?’  Then I could reply, ‘Because it felt good to me, so I did it.’”

     When deciding whether or not to do...

January 14, 2020

      The late President Harry S. Truman often talked about a political campaign he lost in 1924.  The Ku Klux Klan was involved.  Truman said, “That Klan bunch came to my office and said they had a problem with me.  They said they understood that my grandfather was a Jew, but they would give me a special dispensation and their support if I would join them.  Well, I looked at those miserable creatures and I said that my grandf...

January 13, 2020

     A rabbi wrote about his experience in a Nazi concentration camp.  One evening in the winter of 1944, his father, who was also a prisoner there, took him and some of their friends to a corner of the barracks.  He told them it was Hanukkah, and began to light a wick placed in his melted margarine ration.  The son protested this waste of precious food.  His father responded, “We have seen that it is possible to live up to th...

January 10, 2020

     Sometime ago the Associated Press reported an amazing dog story.  Sam, a scruffy mix of Yorkshire terrier and poodle, is back home, dog tired after an 840-mile trek from Colorado to California.  Sam’s owners were moving to a California apartment that did not allow animals.  So, before leaving Colorado, they had given Sam to another family.  Ten weeks after they moved, they heard a scratch at their door.  There was Sam—wea...

January 9, 2020

     A little boy named Danny lived with his family in a house trailer.  One day someone asked him, “Don’t you wish you had a real home?”   Danny’s reply was wise beyond his years.  He said, “We have a real home.  We just don’t have a house to put it in.”

    A house and a home are very different.  A house is just a physical structure, made perhaps of brick or wood or stone.  It can be la...

January 8, 2020

      Occasionally I hear a so-called liberated parent say, “I don’t want to tilt my children toward religion.  I want to leave them free to examine the evidence and make up their own minds.”  Such comments remind me of an old story about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the great English poet.  One day he was talking with a man who did not believe in giving children any religious instruction.  After a while Coleridge asked his visito...

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Group of bishops calling for ‘deeper conversations’

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