March 16, 2017 | NEW YORK (UMNS)

An oral hearing on a petition questioning whether a gay pastor can serve as a bishop in The United Methodist Church will open the spring meeting of Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court.

The hearing — set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Apri...

January 18, 2017

The Judicial Council meeting this April will address some very important challenges to church law including the recent election of Rev. Karen Oliveto, a lesbian in a same sex marriage, and non-conformity resolutions by several Annual Conferences.  You can see the full...

Oct. 30, 2016 | LISLE, Ill. (UMNS)

How penalties imposed by trial courts were handled in two cases involving clergy was the subject of separate oral hearings Oct. 25 before the United Methodist Judicial Council.

The denomination’s top court, which met Oct. 25-28 at the H...

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February 20, 2020

    John D. Rockefeller, Sr., died as a very wealthy man.  A large crowd came to an auditorium for the reading of his will.  As the crowd entered the auditorium, a cousin cozied up to Rockefeller’s life-long accountant and whispered, “Just between you and me, how much did John D. leave behind?”   Quickly the accountant replied, “All of it.”

     “Then (Jesus) said to them, ‘Watch out!  Be on your g...

February 19, 2020

    A man was walking in the woods with his grandson when they came across a small turtle. The boy picked up his find, examined it and tried to pry open the shell with a stick.  The turtle promptly pulled in its head.

   “That will never get your anywhere,” the grandfather remarked.  “Let me show you something.”

     Grandfather put the turtle in his pocket and they returned to the house.  Then Grandfath...

February 18, 2020

When Charleton Heston was training to drive the chariot in that classic film BEN HUR, he said to the director, Cecil B. DeMille, “I can hardly stay on this thing.  How can I possibly win the race?”   DeMille replied, “Your job is to stay on it.  It’s my job to make sure you win!”

     God says something similar to us:  Your job is to be faithful.  I will make sure that when your life’s story is finalized, you wil...

February 17, 2020

         There is a story about two little boys who were fighting, as little boys are often prone to do.  One of them yelled at the other, “I’ll never speak to you again!”  They went to their respective homes, but the very next day they were playing together as if nothing had happened the day before.  The mother of one of the boys asked her son how it was that they were mad at each other the day before but friendly today.  Her...

February 14, 2020

   When J.C. Penney graduated from high school, he began growing watermelons.  He took a wagon load and began selling them outside the entrance to a county fair.  His father, a minister, made him stop.  “You’re disgracing the Penney’s name,” he said.  “Merchants selling inside the fair pay for the privilege.”  But young Jim replied, “I was not inside the fair; I was on the outside.”  “Exactly,” his father explained.  “You were...

February 13, 2020

     Author and business leader Fred Smith writes: “One of my treasured memories comes from a doughnut shop in Grand Saline, Texas.  There was a young farm couple sitting at the table next to mine.  He was wearing overalls and she a gingham dress.  After finishing their doughnuts, he got up to pay the bill, and I noticed she didn’t get up to follow him.  But then he came back and stood in front of her.  She put her arms around...

February 12, 2020

    A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8-year-olds, “What does love mean?”  The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined:

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.” Karl- age 5 “Love is when you kiss all the time.  Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together a...

February 11, 2020

     For many years I kept on my desk a copy of a statement by the great Phillips Brooks, a giant of the pulpit in a previous generation.  In his Yale Lectures on Preaching, he said, “The timid minister is as bad as the timid surgeon.  Courage is good everywhere, but it is necessary here.  If you are afraid of men and a slave to their opinions, go and do something else.  Go and make shoes to fit them.  Go even and paint pictur...

February 10, 2020

     In Lessons from a Father to his Son, former Missouri Senator John Ashcroft writes, “My father said to me, ‘John, I’d like for you to fly this plane for a while.’  I was eight years old at the time.  My father was an amateur pilot.  I looked around at all the controls, gauges, and computerized equipment in the cockpit.  The control stick looked like a broom handle and came up between my legs.  ‘What should I do?’ I shouted...

February 7, 2020

    The French philosopher Voltaire was a skeptic about religion.  He once predicted that “in 100 years the Bible will be a forgotten book found only in museums.”  One hundred years after he made that statement, his home was being used as an office of the Geneva Bible Society.

    “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

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Group of bishops calling for ‘deeper conversations’

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